Tag Archives: Pakistani Cinema

Has Anyone Seen Zar Gul?

By Zia Ahmad

A good fifteen years ago, in a previous century, there was this little talk of a film that made tall claims of revitalizing  Pakistani cinema and provide a much needed breakaway point from the atrocious and tedious exercise which goes into defining Lollywood. Salmaan Peerzada, the then reclusive elder of the Peerzada clan, had returned to Pakistan after a lifetime of appearing on British television and odd feature films. Lesser known in Pakistan as his younger Peer brothers, his debut directorial feature, Zar Gul, nevertheless garnered media attention in the mid 90s. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Cinema, Pakistan, Reviews

A Recipe for making Pushto films

By Zia Ahmad

(courtesy of Friday Times)

Overweight beauties, middle aged gruff leading men, starched hair pieces, logic defying plots, garish costumes, mind boggling dance and fight sequences and pelvic thrusts performed with uncharacteristic gusto, all are hallmarks that define the cornerstone of Pakistani film culture that we know as Pushto films. Over the years Pushto cinema has formed an identity that is utterly unique in offering a brand of entertainment that no self respecting man would want to see with his mum and kids. It didn’t use to be this way though. Earlier Pushto films used to be based around folk tales that paved the way for wholesome family entertainment. Parallel to the rise of Gandasa films in Punjab, during the 80s, Pushto films witnessed a notable dip in quality. Producers and distributors catered their products for the lowest common denominator. That is how Pushto cinema came to be what it is now. Continue reading

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Filed under Cinema, culture, Humour, North-West Frontier Province

Film Theory in Pakistan: Recognizing the Need for Theory

By Zia Ahmad

 

There are parts of the world where writing meaningfully about films has generally been deemed as a subversive indiscretion; so much so you have to keep looking over your shoulder every two minutes just to make sure nobody’s prying on you. Pakistan finds it effortlessly easy to nudge into the ranks. Films have been consistently and categorically relegated as the most trivial pursuit for any no-nonsense individual to entertain. As an artform, cinema has seldom been seen anything more than means of entertainment in Pakistan. The mere idea that films may have to say anything of importance positively baffles and even offends upholders of our tradition. Hardly a fresh observation, cinema in Pakistan has failed to evolve from its “entertainment for the masses stage. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Cinema, culture, Media, Pakistan

Khuda kay Liye and Ramchand Pakistani: A Comparison

By Zia Ahmad

 

Ramchand Pakistani has come and gone and has made another addition to the slowly and lets hope surely upward struggle for the revival of Pakistani cinema. With the lack of any other appropriate banner for these films to be categorized under, no room for “New Pakistani Cinema” or “Reasonable/Sensible Pakistani Cinema”, “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” is the nomenclature that has been agreed upon and Shoaib “Showman” Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye has been accorded the privilege of ushering in this revival. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Cinema, culture, drama, Pakistan, Reviews