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14 Aug

Redefining the Lollywood stereotype

A new spate of professionals is trying to change the perception of Pakistan’s archaic film industry but it’ll take a bit more to reload this barrel. The way popular music videos are shot in Pakistan have come a long way from the days when music video directors stuck to two basic formulas: the khandar mein kharra band video and the Pir Suhawa mein cruising band video. These two formulas pretty much summed up most of the videos from the nineties, give or take the few shot on Karachi’s seashore. With directors as accomplished as Bilal Lashari, Jami, Saqib Malik, Sohail Javed and Zeeshan Parwez (amongst others) the formulas have changed. Music videos are pushing boundaries: Sajni, Gallan and Chal Bulleya are...
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10 Aug

Rising, Shining Pakistan (Part II)

This is Pakistan shining. Amidst all the negativity there are individuals who propel spirits and blow optimism into the daily drudgery of our lives. Music, film, fashion…these are all silver linings now. They are flashes that shine brightly and bring out stars from behind the dark clouds. That said, stars today are no longer the glamorous, untouchable icons that they once used to be. Just like the Royals – who have transformed from being power houses of glamour and rich lifestyle a la Princess Diana to Top-Shopping, jeans and t-shirt new age Queens like Kate Middleton – twenty first century celebrities too want to be lifelike rather than being larger than life. That holds true for Pakistan’s brightest star Atif Aslam as...
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9 Aug

Rising, Shining Pakistan (Part I)

This is Pakistan shining. Amidst all the negativity there are individuals who propel spirits and blow optimism into the daily drudgery of our lives. Music, film, fashion…these are all silver linings now. They are flashes that shine brightly and bring out stars from behind the dark clouds. That said, stars today are no longer the glamorous, untouchable icons that they once used to be. Just like the Royals – who have transformed from being power houses of glamour and rich lifestyle a la Princess Diana to Top-Shopping, jeans and t-shirt new age Queens like Kate Middleton – twenty first century celebrities too want to be lifelike rather than being larger than life. That holds true for Pakistan’s brightest star Atif Aslam as...
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25 Jul

Khawar Riaz’s little letter of disapproval

Just so that you all don't get confused, my LSA nomination article was published in Dawn on July 17. I was in Dubai at the time so could not receive any calls or feedback. However, some friends were kind enough to alert me of this email/text message that was apparently doing the rounds of all editors/journalists/designers etc. I got the following text (reproduced sic to be fair to Khawar) from some Oz Khan, whom I don't know from Adam. Being the fair and unbiased journalist that I am, I am putting Khawar's letter up on my blog as constructive feedback of my article which is also up on the blog. Though the heart comes up with numerous responses to every single...
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25 Jun

What language does BOL speak?

Atif Aslam and Mahira Khan serve as eye-candy/visual and mental relief in the film. Shoaib Mansoor’s second film Bol is as much a slap of reality as Khuda Kay Liye was. It’s perhaps even more hammering as he tackles many more issues and rolls them into a disturbing two and a half hour feature: infanticide, displaced morals, regressive behaviour, intolerance for those who are different, insensitivity, pedophilia, corruption and general degeneration of society at large. To expect the film to be lightweight is as ridiculous as expecting the President of Pakistan to wake up and reverse a death sentence for some random girl, as shown aptly in the film. Did I find it entertaining? No Did I want to get...
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7 Jun

Who’s going to PRET A PORTER PARIS this year?

PFDC fairy godmother Alexandra Senes, with Ali Xeeshan, and Isabelle Ballu in the background. Xeeshan may not be going to Paris this year but his is clearly a brand Senes believes in. It was announced at the end of the previous PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week that several (seven) designers would be selected from the industry to exhibit/show within the Atmosphere's arena at Pret a Porter Paris in Septmeber 2011. Pret a Porter Paris, for the unaware is a regular fashion fair that hosts "special trade shows for different markets, with ATMOSPHERE’S for creators and designers, THE BOX for high-fantasy accessories, THE TRAIN in New York and LIVING ROOM in Tokyo. With its brand spreading out internationally, its attraction grows...
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15 May

Oracle and the Wicked Queen’s Curse

From The Chronicles of La La Land Once upon a time in a magical land far, far away there existed a kingdom of bright, gay and happy fairies. These fairies were talented and had magical fingers; they could weave gold out of straw and carve ivory out of cold slabs of marble. Stories of these fairies spread around the world and many travelers, in search of exotic and precious wares to sell, eagerly stepped into La La Land for a first hand experience of what made these fairies so special. La La Land was powered by an evil Queen who had been ruling over it for years. Not a blade of grass could grow without her permission and not a Phoenix could...
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1 May

DMD: Smoking up a storm!

Dum Maaro Dum looks into drug-hit Goa  Exactly thirty years after Zeenat Aman created a cult with the original song, the newly released Dum Maaro Dum movie opens in rave-ridden tourist destination Goa that has been severely hit by the drug trade. Pockets of peddlers (Nigerian, Israeli, Russian and French) are powered by Lorsa Biscuita (Aditya Pancholi) who has a finger in every corporate pie in the book. The identity of powerful drug baron - Michael Barbossa - remains a mystery till the very end though the thrilling tone of the film leads you into suspecting the most unsuspicious bystanders. The Chief Minister of Goa appoints ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek Bachcan) to combat the growing plague that has taken Kamath’s family as...
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27 Apr

The Talented Mr Javeri

Wanted: one KaraCHAKRA bag! I'm really disappointed in Tapu Javeri. I mean why would anyone in their right frame of mind do this to women who are already suffering under the weight of inflation, national insecurity, heat and other problems. But it just shows the apathetic and insensitive nature of Mr Javeri that he would go and launch a limited edition of KaraChakra bags that are to die for. OH isn't that peachy: another thing to die for! The bags feature psychadelic imagery of Karachi: you can pick out landmarks like Frere Hall, Empress Market, Tower, The Habib Bank building as well as camels on SeaView/Clifton beach etc. NOW is when someone has finally started looking into the beauty of the city...
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