Category Archives: Movies

Rajiv Malhotra Discussing the new MOHENJO DARO movie

Rajiv Malhotra Discussing the new MOHENJO DARO movie, what is true and false about its depictions of history. What are the social-political implications. How to watch it for entertainment as well as education. Please watch my talk to develop a Vedic drishti for interpreting this movie.

Courtesy: Rajiv Malhotra >> Youtube

Movie on Ancient Indus Civilization, Mohenjo Daro | Official Trailer | Hrithik Roshan & Pooja Hegde

UTV Motion Pictures and Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Present Mohenjo Daro starring Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde The film is directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and releases on August 12, 2016.

Courtesy: UTV Motion

 

Mahira Khan declared sexiest Pakistani

Actress Mahira Khan has been named as the hottest Pakistani on the planet in recent poll of the 50 Sexiest Asian Women.

According to a poll conducted by UK-based newspaper Eastern Eye, Mahira ranked 10th, while Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra topped the list. Mahira has climbed 24 places since last year.

It has been a dreamy year for Mahira from scoring a big international success with Lollywood film Bin Roye and then shooting a big budget Bollywood film Raees opposite Shah Rukh Khan.

Entertainment journalist Asjad Nazir, who founded the list and puts it together annually, believes Mahira has taken her first giant steps towards international superstardom this year.

Read more » Pakistan Today
See more »  http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/12/11/entertainment/mahira-khan-declared-sexiest-pakistani/

Pakistan’s contrary years (1971-1977): A cultural history of the Bhutto era

BY NADEEM F. PARACHA

Modern cultural historians have usually defined the 1970s as being one of the most implosive decades of the 20th century.

Their fascination with the 1970s has continued to this day — they describe the era as a period in modern history in which various contemporary ideologies of the left and the right fought their most decisive battles.

The 1970s were no different in Pakistan as well.

Flamboyant and edgy, here too, the prominent veneer of freewheeling cultural brashness and populism of the decade finally mutated and triggered social profligacy and economic downturns that (by the late 1970s) eventually gave way (around the world) to the emergence of starker forces of the ‘New Right’. Who, in turn, would go on to redefine global politics and society from the 1980s onwards.

The cultural and political flamboyance of the 1970s eventually collapsed on itself.

Incidentally (and rather aptly), the 1970s in Pakistan were dominated by one of the country’s most enigmatic, flamboyant and contradictory politicians ever: ZA Bhutto.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1223761

Hrithik Roshan to star in ‘Mohenjo Daro’

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Disney India and Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt. Ltd (AGPPL) are to collaborate on Mohenjo Daro.

Directed by Gowariker, the film will star Hrithik Roshan and new comer Pooja Hegde in an epic adventure love story set at the time of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Mohenjo Daro, meaning Mound of the Dead in Sindhi, is a lost civilization that was abandoned in 19th century BCE. The city’s ruins lie in the Larkana district of Sindh, and are a designated Unesco World Heritage Site since 1980.

Given the settings, the movie is likely to be a sweeping historical extravaganza, along the lines of Jodhaa Akbar and Lagaan, the former also an association between UTV Motion Pictures (aka Disney India), while the latter an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film; both movies were critical and box-office hits.

According to a press release, Disney India Producer Sunita Gowariker said, “There has always been a natural creative synergy between UTV and AGPPL in our previous movies. This time through our collaboration with Disney we’ll have an even greater focus on entertaining families”.

“After Jodhaa Akbar, we are thrilled to work with Ashutosh and Hrithik again, and we are excited about bringing another wonderful Indian story to the big screen,” said Amrita Pandey, VP and Head of Marketing & Distribution, Disney Studios, India.

Mohenjo Daro is set to go into production in South Africa from October 2014.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1126104/hrithik-roshan-to-star-in-mohenjo-daro

Bollywood director is making a film ‘Mohen-jo-Daro’

Ashutosh Gowariker: Happy finally ‘Mohenjo-Daro’ happening!

The intelligent director has been working on the script for the past two years now. He’s glad that the movie is finally in the making!

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker, who is making Mohenjo-Daro with Hrithik Roshan, says he is happy that finally the film, on which he has been working the past two years, will go on the floors.

“I have been working on the script for the past two years now. I am glad that finally it is happening,” Gowariker said here Tuesday at the first look launch of the film Unforgettable.

After helming successful historical drama Jodhaa Akbar in 2008, Gowariker came out with period drama Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey in 2010, but it was a flop.This is his second film with Hrithik after Jodhaa Akbar and he is excited about it.

Read more » BollywoodLife
http://www.bollywoodlife.com/news/ashutosh-gowariker-happy-finally-mohenjo-daro-happening/

Zinda Bhaag: Pakistani cinema’s return to glory?

By Arshed Bhatti

I watched Zinda Bhaag at its World Premier in Toronto, incidentally on August 14, 2013 – Pakistan’s Independence Day. After a successful ten day run, followed by many reviews, and nominated for Pakistan’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category, I thought I’d write my personal review of the film.

Using cricket lingo, Zinda Bhaag is not a Shahid Afridi sixer, or a T-20 slog. Instead, it is a technically perfect and faultless double hundred by a maestro like Javed Miandad, with its due share of sixers and boundaries. Like any double hundred, Zinda Bhaag not only gives a winning position to the team, it also plays a catalytic role in the popularity and promotion of the game, that is, the film industry in Pakistan.

My earlier reference to Shahid Afridi’s sixers and T-20 slogs was simply to explain that his sixers are part impulse, part response to public demand, and part reflex action, whose comprehension follows rather than precedes the act; whereas, Zinda Bhaag is neither. Although it has its fair share of adrenaline pumping shots and tense situations, it is a well-timed, well-planned, and well-executed game changer.

What makes a great film, you ask?

I have a formula which contains seven elements that all new directors must strive to achieve. The film’s directors, Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, have adhered to it in their own way. The acronym of my formula is S.A.V.E.S.M.E. The first five letters denote elements intrinsic to a film, and the last two, in a way, are extraneous to the film. S.A.V.E.S stands for Script, Acting, Visuals, Editing and Soundtrack – and once the movie is made – M.E. stands for Marketing and Exhibition.

In my humble opinion, any film must score a minimum of B+ on the first five elements to be considered a serious attempt at film-making. I gave Zinda Bhaag an A+ on script, editing and sound track; while the acting of main characters oscillates between A+ and B+.

Although the budget constraints for its marketing and promotion are obvious, I still gave it a healthy B+ on its marketing since the intelligent use of social media and personal networks of the film-makers seem to be filling the gaps quite adequately.

Now, what exactly was so great about this film?

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/19057/zinda-bhaag-pakistani-cinemas-return-to-glory/

Naheed Akhtar to perform after two decades

By

LAHORE, May 31: Famous for her voice range and often credited for her versatility, yore years’ playback singer Naheed Akhtar will perform after 22 years at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, on June 8.

The singer, who gave up professional singing in 1991, will be awarded Alhamra Excellence Award on the occasion.

She used to be a household name from the 70s to the 90s. Famous TV host and actress Ayesha Sana will interview Ms Akhtar at the evening while Hamid Ali Khan, Shabnam Majeed and Saima Jahan will sing the popular film songs sung by the singer.

Videos of her film songs and those she sang on television will also be screened. There will also be a few performances on some of her songs by film and TV artistes.

A number of known film artistes, music composers, lyrists and other guests are invited to the occasion.

The credit for bringing to stage Akhtar after so many years directly goes to the council for its officials made repeated requests to the singer for a public appearance.

LAC Deputy Director Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi told Dawn that after repeated requests the singer finally got convinced for a public appearance and a performance.

He said since Akhtar belonged to the league of such singers who were thoroughly professional therefore she had several meetings with Alhamra officials to finalise the list of songs to be sung and performed. He said: “These days she is doing rehearsals for the songs she is going to sing at the evening.”

Ms Akhtar was discovered by veteran musician M Ashraf in the mid-70s and replaced Runa Laila. Her debut film was ‘Nanha Farishta’ in 1974 and that year she sang songs in the film Shama also.

As a singer, she was brilliant in fast tracks, sad songs and ghazals as well.

Melodies such as ‘Piyar Kabhi Karna Na’ and ‘Yeh Aaj Mujko Kia Hua, and ‘Kisi Meherbaan Nay Aa Ke Meri Zindigi Saja Dee’ gave her immense popularity. The song ‘Meherbaan’ was a huge landmark in her singing.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/2013/06/01/naheed-akhtar-to-perform-after-two-decades/

Veena Malik open to stripping for Hollywood

Dubai: Pakistani actress Veena Malik has said that if she was in Hollywood, she would have to work according to the ‘culture’ there, even if it means going nude.

The dark haired beauty, famous for her Lollywood and Bollywood roles and outspoken views on fighting Pakistani Muslim traditions, is caught up in a scandalous affair posing naked on the front cover of India’s FHM magazine.

“… In Pakistan I work within the culture and in India or Bollywood I do the same,” Gulf News quoted her as saying.

“When I’m in Hollywood I would do what is expected of me within their industry. I’m an entertainer after all,” she said.

The controversial actress, who has been engaged twice in the past, called herself a romantic and said that some day, she would like to be a wife too.

“I really believe in love and marriage. I’m a real romantic and I want to be a wife some day but it has to be with the right person,” she said.

“I know someone will come along eventually. I believe that if you look for something you will eventually find it,” she added. ANI

Courtesy: ZeeNews

Pakistan’s first-ever nude cover-girl, creates a storm; sports an ISI tattoo

Veena Malik’s nude picture in Indian magazine causes furore

Pakistani actress Veena Malik, best known for her participation in Indian reality show ‘Bigg Boss’, was at the centre of a fresh controversy today after being featured nude on the cover of ‘FHM India’ magazine, sporting a tattoo with the words ISI on her arm. ….

Read more » TOI

How a Paris Mosque Sheltered Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust

– Heroic Tale of Holocaust, With a Twist

By ELAINE SCIOLINO

PARIS — The stories of the Holocaust have been documented, distorted, clarified and filtered through memory. Yet new stories keep coming, occasionally altering the grand, incomplete mosaic of Holocaust history.

One of them, dramatized in a French film released here last week, focuses on an unlikely savior of Jews during the Nazi occupation of France: the rector of a Paris mosque.

Muslims, it seems, rescued Jews from the Nazis.

“Les Hommes Libres” (“Free Men”) is a tale of courage not found in French textbooks. According to the story, Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the founder and rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, provided refuge and certificates of Muslim identity to a small number of Jews to allow them to evade arrest and deportation.

It was simpler than it sounds. In the early 1940s France was home to a large population of North Africans, including thousands of Sephardic Jews. The Jews spoke Arabic and shared many of the same traditions and everyday habits as the Arabs. Neither Muslims nor Jews ate pork. Both Muslim and Jewish men were circumcised. Muslim and Jewish names were often similar.

The mosque, a tiled, walled fortress the size of a city block on the Left Bank, served as a place to pray, certainly, but also as an oasis of calm where visitors were fed and clothed and could bathe, and where they could talk freely and rest in the garden. …

Read more → The New York Times

Dr. Shazia on Pakistani movie

The Muslims aren’t happy ! They’re not happy in Egypt. They’re not happy in Morocco. They’re not happy in Iran.
They’re not happy in Iraq. They’re not happy in Yemen.They’re not happy in Pakistan. And where are they happy?They’re happy in England. They’re happy in France. They’re happy in Germany. They’re happy in Sweden. They’re happy in every country that is not Muslim. And who do they blame? Not their leadership (policy makers). Not themselves. THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN …

Courtesy: → SZS → YouTube

Pakistani film BOL coming soon

Pakistani movie Bol takes you through a journey into the life of a family experiencing their troubles, sufferings, and resolves. As family members take decision to solve their problems they step into deeper troubles. The complexity of their circumstances becomes a struggle of life and death. JAB KHILA NAHEEN RAKH SAKTE TO PAIDA KYUN KARTE HO?

YouTube

My Fellow American: understanding of as being American changes the whole dynamics

My Fellow American is a film project in the United States devoted to recognizing that Muslims are our neighbors. My Fellow American project was created to offer a new narrative about Muslims in America and offer people a safe platform to discuss their opinions. My fellow American is hoping to share this message of tolerance. This 2 minute film is actually praising Muslims and showing how they are helping their fellow Americans. …

Courtesy: → Elizabeth Potter, Unity Productions Foundation,

facebook.com/MyFellowAmericanProject@usmuslimstories

Pakistan tragedy: The killing of newborn girls

Killing of infants on the rise in Pakistan

By Reza Sayah, CNN

Karachi, Pakistan (CNN) — At a morgue in Pakistan’s largest city, five linen pouches — each the size of a loaf of bread — line the shelf of a walk-in freezer. Wrapped inside each small sack is the corpse of an infant.

The babies are victims of what one relief agency calls Pakistan’s worst unfolding tragedy — the killing and dumping of newborns.

“Sometimes they hang them and sometimes they kill by the knife, and sometimes we find bodies which have been burned,” said Anwar Kazmi, a manager at Edhi Foundation, Pakistan’s largest privately run social service and relief agency.

Records at Edhi Foundation show more than 1,200 newborns were killed and dumped in Pakistan last year, an increase of about 200 from the previous year.

Families view many of these children as illegitimate in a culture that condemns those born outside of marriage.

Statistics show roughly nine out of 10 are baby girls, which families may consider too costly to keep in a country where women frequently are not allowed to work. …

Read more : → CNN

In her novel “Aag Ka Darya”, a world class urdu writer, Qurattulain Haider, had raised questions about Partition and had rejected the two-nation theory

– The misfits of society

by Waseem Altaf

Qurattulain Haider, writer of the greatest urdu novel “Aag Ka Darya” had come to Pakistan in 1949. By then she had attained the stature of a world class writer. She joined the Press Information Department and served there for quite some time. In 1959 her greatest novel ‘Aag ka Darya’ was published. ‘Aag Ka Dariya’ raised important questions about Partition and rejected the two-nation theory. It was this more than anything else that made it impossible for her to continue in Pakistan, so she left for India and permanently settled there.

Sahir Ludhianvi, one of the finest romantic poets of Urdu language settled in Lahore in 1943 where he worked for a number of literary magazines. Everything was alright until after partition when his inflammatory writings (communist views and ideology) in the magazine Savera resulted in the issuing of a warrant for his arrest by the Government of Pakistan. In 1949 Sahir fled to India and never looked back.

Sajjad Zaheer, the renowned progressive writer Marxist thinker and revolutionary who came to Pakistan after partition, was implicated in Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case and was extradited to India in 1954.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was a Pakistani citizen, regarded as one of the greatest classical singers of the sub continent, was so disillusioned by the apathy shown towards him and his art that he applied for, and was granted a permanent Indian immigrant visa in 1957-58. He migrated to India and lived happily thereafter. All of the above lived a peaceful and prosperous life in India and were conferred numerous national awards by the Government of India.

Now let’s see the scene on the other side of Radcliff line.

Saadat Hassan Manto a renowned short story writer migrated to Pakistan after 1947. Here he was tried thrice for obscenity in his writings. Disheartened and financially broke he expired at the age of 42. In 2005, on his fiftieth death anniversary, the Government of Pakistan issued a commemorative postage stamp.

Zia Sarhadi the Marxist activist and a film director who gave us such memorable films as ‘Footpath’ and ‘Humlog’, was a celebrity in Bombay when he chose to migrate to Pakistan. ‘Rahguzar’, his first movie in this country, turned out to be the last that he ever directed. During General Ziaul Haq’s martial law, he was picked up by the army and kept in solitary confinement in terrible conditions. The charges against him were sedition and an inclination towards Marxism. On his release, he left the country to settle permanently in the UK and never came back.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, one of the greatest Urdu poets of the 20th century was arrested in 1951 under Safety Act and charged in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case. Later he was jailed for more than four years.

Professor Abdussalam the internationally recognized Pakistani physicist was disowned by his own country due to his religious beliefs. He went to Italy and settled there. He could have been murdered in the holy land but was awarded the Nobel Prize in the West for his contribution in the field of theoretical physics. Meanwhile his tombstone at Rabwah (now Chenab Nagar) was disfigured under the supervision of a local magistrate. This was our way of paying tribute to the great scientist.

Rafiq Ghazanvi was one of sub-continent’s most attractive, capable and versatile artists. He was an actor, composer and singer. He composed music for a number of films in Bombay like Punarmilan, Laila majnu and Sikandar. After partition he came to Karachi where he was offered a petty job at Radio Pakistan. He later resigned and spent the rest of his life in seclusion. He died in Karachi in 1974.

Sheila Ramani was the heroine of Dev Anand’s ”taxi driver” and “fantoosh” released in the 50’s. She was a Sindhi and came to Karachi where her uncle Sheikh Latif was a producer. She played the lead in Pakistani film ”anokhi” which had the famous song ”gari ko chalana babu” However seeing little prospects of any cinematic activity at Karachi, she moved back to India.

Ustad Daman, the ‘simpleton’ Punjabi poet had flair of his own. Due to his unorthodox views, many a times he was sent behind bars. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru offered him Indian citizenship which he refused. The reward he received here was the discovery of a bomb from his shabby house for which he was sent to jail by the populist leader Mr.Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Had Mohammad Rafi the versatile of all male singers of the Indian sub-continent chosen to stay in Pakistan, what would have been his fate. A barber in the slums of Bilal Gunj in Lahore, while Dilip Kumar selling dry fruit in Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Peshawar.

Ustad Salamat Ali a bhagwan in Atari turned out to be a mirasi in Wahga all his life. Last time I met him at his rented house in Islamabad, he was in bad shape.

We also find Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who went to India and was treated like a god. His compositions recorded in India became all time hits not only in Pakistan and India but all over the world. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Faakhir, Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam frequently visit India and their talent is duly recognized by a culture where art and music is part of life. Adnan Sami has even obtained Indian citizenship and has permanently settled there. Salma Agha and Zeba Bakhtiar got fame after they acted in Indian films. Meanwhile Veena Malik is getting death threats here and is currently nowhere to be seen. Sohail Rana the composer was so disillusioned here that he permanently got settled in Canada. Earlier on Saleem Raza the accomplished singer immigrated to Canada. I was told by a friend that Saleem Raza was once invited by some liberal students to perform at Punjab University when the goons of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba attacked him and paraded him in an objectionable posture in front of the students.

After returning to Pakistan the chhote ustads of “star plus” who achieved stardom in India have gone into oblivion, while Amanat Ali and Saira Reza of “sa re ga ma” fame have disappeared. And ask Sheema Kirmani and Naheed Siddiqui, the accomplished dancers how conducive the environment here is for the growth of performing arts.

A country gets recognition through its intelligentsia and artists. They are the real assets of a nation. The cultural growth of a society is not possible without these individuals acting as the precursors of change. Unfortunately this state was not created, nor was it meant for these kinds of people. It was carved out for hypocrites and looters who could have enjoyed a heyday without any fear or restraint.

Read more → ViewPoint

Kitnay aadmi thay? — Char

by Waseem Altaf

Commodore Irfan-ul-Haq said that since they came at night hence they could not be effectively countered. Earlier on, the Air Chief complained that during Abbotabad operation the US choppers entered our airspace at night, hence could not be engaged. Well our armed forces should issue a communiqué to all our possible adversaries that all enemy incursions should take place during daytime so that they can be effectively intercepted.

One of the most memorable dialogues of the 1975 blockbuster Sholay was “kitnay aadmi thay” and in reply the bandit ashamedly says “do aadmi thay”, this response turns Gabbar Singh the gang leader, in a fit of rage, who then shoots the three cowardly dacoits.

The outlaws of “Sholay” faced two; the lead pair Veeru and Jai, while the fantastic four who conducted the Rambo Class operation on the night of 22nd May 2011, at Mahran air base were facing elements of 25th mechanized infantry division, navy commandos (SSGN), navy marines, Zarrar battalion of the SSG, rangers, elite force and the police, both deployed and in reserve.

The ground forces also enjoyed support of choppers from above. However those four guys whose average age was 20 mocked a brigade plus strength of the sixth largest army of the world for a good 16 hours. The planning, determination, execution and the level of motivation was simply superb. Two of them fought till death while the other two blew themselves up. None tried to flee and none surrendered. However before being liquidated they had transformed two P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft into pulp. The two machines cost rupees six billion while 10 personnel of the security forces were eliminated. Damage to any other installations is still being kept a secret. This was at the tactical level.

Read more : ViewPoint

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