Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ayub Khan Din set to thrill audiences yet again with ‘All in Good Time’

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After the success of East is East and West is West, British Pakistani playwright Ayub Khan Din is set to delight film fans with his latest offering ‘All in Good Time’, which releases this May.
The film is adapted from Din’s hugely successful, Olivier Award-winning  play ‘Rafta Rafta’ and tells the story of yet another close knit and raucous British Asian family living in Bolton.
Reece Ritchie (The Love Bones) and Amara Karan (The Darjeeling Limited) star as Atul Dutt and his young bride Vina for whom married life is proving far from straightforward.  Their troubles are exacerbated by the presence of Atul’s parents in an adjoining bedroom and numerous troublesome relatives.
With meddling parents, nosy neighbours and a gossipy community, can this marriage last?  And will Atul’s parents face up to the shaky state of their own marriage?
Harish Patel (Run Fat Boy Run) and Meera Syal (Anita and Me) reprise their roles from the original play as Atul’s parents, Eeshwar and Lopa.
The film has already received warm reviews from audiences at the Glasgow and Dublin Film Festivals where the film’s stars have been introducing cinema goers to the drama and comedy inherent in the British Asian community as so wonderfully portrayed by Khan Din in the past.
Meera Syal says of the film: “Principally, it’s a family comedy. What is great about Ayub's writing is he can turn on a sixpence, so you can be hilariously laughing one minute but then suddenly you’re into something very real and dark and moving about family life.”
All In Good Time is directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls, Made In Dagenham) and produced by Oscar nominated Andy Harries (The Queen) and Suzanne Mackie (Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots).
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-    UKAsian Staff

John Abraham to star in film about LTTE

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Pulchritudinus Bollywood heartthrob John Abraham - him of the nonchalant gaze, crater-like dimples and propensity for luscious supermodels - is to star in a film about the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE), reports from India say.

Abraham - the star of such intriguingly diverse fare as Jism, Kabul Express, No Smoking and Housefull (1 and 2) - will also produce the film which is tentatively titled ‘Jaffna’ after the northern Sri Lankan city once the epicentre of the brutal, 30-year civil war between the Lankan government and the LTTE.

The war came to a bloody end in 2009 with the deaths of tens of thousands of combatants and civilians.

The conflict traced its roots back to the Island’s independence in 1948 and was marked by rights violations on both sides, the assassination of several heads of states, including Rajiv Gandhi as well as the LTTE’s detonation of trucks laden with explosives in crowded train stations, fruit and veg markets and places of religious worship.

‘Jaffna’ is described as a ‘political thriller’ by its director Shoojit Sircar whose most recent attempt was the equally intriguing (and Abraham produced) ‘Vicky Donor’; a film which the Times of India is already calling a ‘breezy satire on sperm donation’.

Sircar told the TOI, “John is a politically aware actor. He reads the newspaper every morning. He is clued in to the dynamics of the separatist strife in Sri Lanka. The minute I told him about my film 'Jaffna', he was on board."

Abraham reportedly intends to ‘travel in and out of Sri Lanka in the coming months to get a hang of the political situation in the pretty little country’, added the TOI.

"I am no stranger to themes of separatism and extremist violence. My first film 'Yahaan' was about Kashmiri separatism. And now 'Jaffna' would be carrying the theme of extremism to another extreme," said Sircar.

In the meantime, John would be going all-out to generate awareness about sperm donation in the weeks preceding the release of "Vicky Donor".

- Vijitha Alles

John Abraham to star in film about LTTE

Controversial Pak artist Tassaduq Sohail returns to the Noble Sage

Contemporary artist Tassaduq Sohail returns to the Noble Sage in March in a solo exhibition which promises more of the stark realism which has seen him become one of the most controversial and respected Pakistani artists in the world.

This latest exhibition will be the third Sohail has staged at the North London gallery; the first in the UK which specializes in South Asian contemporary art.

Born in Jullundhar in East Punjab in 1930, Sohail’s formative years were spent in a country experiencing tremendous social and political upheaval. At partition in 1947, the entire region was plunged into bloody turmoil with different groups vying for domination. Those violent images have forever coloured his outlook on life and his work.
“People were lying on the roadside, killed… Arms and legs. And so many vultures and crows hovering to eat the flesh” he recalls.

Following the violence, Sohail and his family were forced to rebuild their lives from scratch, this time in Karachi.

The violence and oppression however, didn’t fade. The vacuum left by one type of extremist was filled by another, as the Mullahs began laying the ground work for a new, ‘correct’ way of life, imposed on a beleaguered people through oppression and abuse.

These supposedly pious figures would influence yet another strand of the work of Sohail who began to see all religions as the same repressive system, antithetical to the very act of living.
By 1961, the oppression around him forced Sohail to flee Karachi and move to England, where his first years were spent often destitute. After accidentally discovering he had an artistic gift, Sohail began to obsessively churn out small works of art.

The artist came to use a 'decalcomania’ technique, allowing blots of diluted ink created after pressing a piece of glass on the paper to suggest the image ahead or else using colourful watercolour backgrounds to propose imaginary figurative events.

The final results are often either descriptions of the fetid underside of life or else falsely (or ironically) upbeat descriptions of comedic scenes.

There is always a wry macabre sense of humour within all of his work. In different ways, Sohail uncovered in his pieces a life born of death and decay.

The works on show at this latest exhibition span the 1970’s and 80’s and demonstrate Sohail’s impressive handle of the medium as well as his own fascinating style of narration.

Tassaduq Sohail at the Noble Sage: 23rd March – 13th April by appointment only.

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- UKAsian Staff

Controversial Pak artist Tassaduq Sohail returns to the Noble Sage