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Saturday, October 27, 2012

5 new movies to be screened on Eid

LAHORE – The cinemas of the provincial metropolis will screen five new movies, one each of Lollywood and Bollywood and three of Hollywood, on the auspicious occasion of Eid.
As per details, the Hollywood films Stolen, Cloud Atlas and Paranormal Activity would be exhibited simultaneously at DHA cinema and Cinestar cinema. Paranormal Activity would also be exhibited at Super cinema, Royal Palm Golf and Country Club. A Lollywood film ‘Sher Dil’ directed by Iqbal Kashmiri and Produced by Haji Abdur Rahid Shera will be screened at Prince Cinema.

The movie has the cast including Shan, Saima and Sila Hussain etc. The screening of an other Lollywood flick Sharika, directed by Syed Noor and having Shaan, Saima, Mustafa Qureshi and Irfan Khoosat in the cast, will continue at Shabistan Cinema.
The screening of two Bollywood movies including Student of the Year and Chakrview will continue Cinestar, Sozo World, PAF, DHA, Gilistan, Metropol and Cinegold. A new movie of Bollywood ‘Rush’ would be showcased at Plaza Cinema.
Leading theatres of the City are also presenting new plays with prominent stage actors on the occasion of Eid. A comedy stage show ‘Ashiq Bakrey’ will be performed at Naz Theatre wherein Naseem Wiki, Sajan Abbas, Khushboo, Nida Chaudhary and othes will perform. A play ‘Topi’ having cast of Iftikhar Thakar, Asif Iqbal, Amaan Ullah, Amanat Chan, Areeba and others will be performed at Alfalah theatre.
Another play ‘Mangti’ having cast of Shafqat Cheema, Nadia Ali, Zara Akbar, Sardar Kamal and others will be presented at Mehfil theatre.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bambino to reopen this Eid: THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

With its charred neon signboard still hanging on to the building as a reminder of that chaotic day, Bambino Cinema will open its doors for the public on Eidul Azha, a month after it was set on fire by a mob during riots against the anti-Islam movie, its owners said on Thursday. 
The decision was made to cater to the needs of people who flood the cinemas in the thousands during the holidays as they cannot afford other expensive entertainment venues, said Adeel Imtiaz, the CEO. “We are trying to stand on our feet again. The public will come. I know they will,” he said, during a press conference to mark the re-launch, which had appeared uncertain a few weeks back. “The government, the authorities and the officials have done nothing for us. We have tried to put back the pieces ourselves.”
The cracking sting of wood varnish hung in the lobby as workers painted the wall and fixed the interior. “Up till now we have spent Rs5 million on the internal fixtures, the sound system and the projector,” Imtiaz said.
The badly damaged exterior requires millions of rupees in investment, something that the owners say they cannot afford.
On September 21, a mob went on a rampage damaging public and private property. At least six cinema theatres were gutted, including Bambino, Nishat, Capri and Prince – all popular with people who don’t frequent the new multiplexes where tickets are Rs350 and above.
Bambino’s place in history is unique. Founded by Hakim Ali Zardari, the father of President Asif Ali Zardari, in 1963, it was inaugurated by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Adeel smiled when the fact was raised during the press conference. “Yes, it is part of his (Zardari’s) history as well. But he did not call us or sent any representative to see how the place was doing.”
The Indian movie ‘Rush’ will be showing during Eid. Lollywood’s Sher Dil is also lined up along with James Bond’s ‘Skyfall’. “There is nothing more I want than to show a Pakistani movie first. However, we have to do what the public wants.”
One would have thought that after such a disaster, Bambino would have reopened with fanfare. But that won’t be the case. Sewerage still clogs the road outside that is choked by traffic almost all the time.
“This place is for the masses. The 900 seats here are filled by people who pay Rs60 at the most to buy a ticket,” Adeel said as he took reporters on a tour of the building. “I wish I could do something about the cleanliness around the building. That is the job of the municipal authority.”
Seats in the hall were burned and over 200 of them are being replaced.
Adeel said the new cinemas, which were offering 3D movies were for a different customer. “All such cinemas are coming up in shopping malls. Our theatre is on the roadside.”
Even before the fire devastated the cinema, Bambino was struggling to woo customers with just a handful of good movies to offer. “That is not exactly correct. We were making a comeback. I showed Raaz 3 and it was success,” said Imtiaz.
On Sir Agha Khan Road, many people stop for a while to take a look at the damaged facade, pointing to the billboard featuring Rush in front of the naked windows.
There is little excitement among the staff. “To be honest, I can only hope for a good response. The law and order situation in this city and so many other problems have changed everything over the year,” said Adeel. “Well, we have taken the risk. Now let’s wait and see!”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Saeen ka US trip bhi saaen: Ali Gul Pir’s first tour abroad

Following the success of his satirical track “Waderai Ka Beta”, Ali Gul Pir left imprints of the infamous word “saeen” on the minds and tongues of his audience — most would agree that he came, he saw and he conquered.
Speculating his audience would enjoy a revamped version of the original track, Pir collaborated with a much-loved personality Wasim Akram to cater to the cricket fever during the T20 World Cup 2012. In conversation with The Express Tribune, he elaborates on his current plans — an upcoming music video and his first international tour.
“The next video is something that every citizen of our country has encountered at some point but not everyone speaks about it or makes a song on it,” he said about his upcoming music video. “And most importantly it doesn’t feature the Orange Hummer.” He did hint however, that some elements from “Waderai Ka Beta” — lyrics, signature style — would be present in his new video, but refused to give the whole scoop.
Knowing how well the audience related to “Waderai Ka Beta”, Pir joined hands with Wasim Akram to give his fans an even edgier version of the track to address the growing cricket fever. “Wasim bhai is a very cool guy and a great rapper as well; he might disagree but it’s true,” said Pir. “Imagine — from a reverse swing to some rap swag!” He then added he had a great time with the cricketer, saying: “He told me West Indies had a good chance of winning the world cup and they actually won.”
The world cup fever may have ended but it is not the end of the road for our saeen, who is all set for a US tour funded entirely by the US state department. “I am really excited and hope to make Pakistan proud as I am the first Pakistani comedian to be invited by the US government to perform in several cities,” he said, adding that the tour is called the Center Stage Tour — the same tour through which Noori, Zeb and Haniya and Arieb Azhar went to the US earlier this year. Surprisingly, this tour is not a result of the ‘saeen fame’ as Pir revealed he had applied for this almost a year ago and got accepted a few months prior to the release of “Waderai Ka Beta”.
The recent ban on YouTube, on the other hand, has created a huge hindrance for independent artists who release their music online — specifically in the current circumstances where record labels are close to nonexistent — and this includes Pir. However, he remains optimistic: “Yes, the ban hurts me. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade — therefore I’m trying my best to make some lemonade and work around the ban in order to continue doing my work.” Although other video-hosting websites are available, Pir feels they aren’t as effective; performing live shows however, has helped him.
Osman Khalid Butt is another artist who also received fame by posting videos online and consequently attracted a lot of attention from various TV producers — currently cast in a drama called “Cinderella”. When asked whether Pir would follow in the same footsteps, he laughed and said, “I hope not! I can never act in serious dramas. I already have enough drama in my own life.”
“My listeners are escapists — I want to make them forget their troubles,” he added. “I love it when I make people laugh, specifically the elderly because their laughs are so much more genuine and heartwarming.”

Forging new ground: Pakistani film shines at Mumbai festival

In the backdrop of the passing away of Bollywood’s ace filmaker Yash Chopra, the Pakistani film Josh managed to receive a positive response at its screening during the prestigious Mumbai Film Festival on Monday.
Filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal, who was in Mumbai with actress Aaminah Sheikh, was visibly excited that the film had managed to get popular attention despite concerns of low attendance due to the death of Chopra.
“Playing my film in Bombay had always been a dream, because it was through Bollywood that I was inspired to become a filmmaker, it’s really a dream come true,” said Bilal speaking to The Express Tribune by telephone following the film’s screening.
The film festival suffered a suffered a severe blow at the demise of Yash Chopra, who is seen as the godfather of modern-day Bollywood.
Bilal said there had been worries that many would not show up for the screening but despite the gloom in the air there had been a relatively good turnout.
“A lot of people were there and they all stayed till the end, I was very pleased.  I suppose people really embraced what Yash Chopra would always tell us: ‘The show must go on”.