Screen Scene: What to watch at home this week

What to watch at home this week. (Shutterstock)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Screen Scene: What to watch at home this week

DUBAI: Planning a night in? Here is what to watch on Netflix this week.

Nailed It! Mexico
Starring: Omar Chaparro, Anna Ruiz
Where: Netflix
Like some kind of anti- ‘Great British Bake-Off,’ ‘Nailed It!’ searches out terrible bakers and then asks them to recreate masterpieces and compete for a $10,000 prize. As the Netflix promo material promises, “It’s part-competition, part hot mess.” Mostly the mess part though.

High Flying Bird
Starring: Andre Holland, Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Bill Duke
Where: Netflix
Steven Soderbergh directs this sporting drama shot on a smartphone. Holland plays Ray, a basketball agent who’s acquired this year’s number one draft pick — but there’s a pay dispute between players (mostly black) and the NBA (mostly not black) to be negotiated. Guess what saves the day in this Netflix drama? Streaming...

Dirty John
Starring: Eric Bana, Connie Britton
Where: Netflix, from Feb. 14
An adaptation of the Los Angeles Times podcast of the same name, this true-crime thriller anthology is based on the life of con artist — and sociopath — John Meehan and his relationship with businesswoman Debra Newell, which began online.

Patriot Act
Starring: Hasan MinHajj
Where: Netflix, from Feb. 10
The American comedian, and former “Daily Show” contributor, who comes from an Indian Muslim family, hosts this satirical comedy show that aims to “explore the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity,” according to the press release.

The Umbrella Academy
Starring: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper
Where: Netflix, from Feb. 15
Adapted from award-winning comics, this superhero series follows the fortunes of six now-adult orphans with special powers who were adopted by a billionaire following their apparently miraculous birth on the same day in 1989.

 


With Saudi roots and an Indian heart, Al-Kazi is an act the stage will never forget

Updated 21 February 2019
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With Saudi roots and an Indian heart, Al-Kazi is an act the stage will never forget

  • Though an icon in India, few people know about Al-Kazi’s Saudi roots

JEDDAH: India has always been a hub of art and culture. Over the last century, movies emerged as the most expressive cultural medium, and the Indian film industry — commonly known as Bollywood — has since become a powerhouse of world cinema.

One can never do its history justice without mentioning Ebrahim Al-Kazi.

A renowned director and drama teacher, he worked as the director of the prestigious New Delhi-based National School of Drama (NSD) from 1962 to 1977, teaching many well-known future actors and fellow directors, including Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Rohini Hattangadi. He also founded the Art Heritage Gallery in New Delhi.

Though an Indian icon, however, few people know about Al-Kazi’s Saudi roots. His father, Hamad bin Ali Al-Kazi, was a trader from Unaiza in the Kingdom’s Qassim region, who subsequently settled in Pune, India, where Ebrahim was born in 1925. 

Early on in his career, Al-Kazi worked with the Bombay Progressive Artists Group, which included M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee and Tyeb Mehta, who would all later contribute to the design of his sets.

He worked in India, the US and Europe before becoming the director of the NSD, and later of the Asian Theater Institute, and is credited with staging more than 50 plays in his lifetime. He also contributes to the preservation of Indian cultural history through his Al-Kazi Foundation for the Arts.

In February 2015, Al-Kazi was honored at the second Saudi Film Festival in Dammam. He was later quoted in Arab media sources on his Saudi upbringing: “Our father was a firm believer in our cultural roots that went back to Saudi Arabia, and we spoke only Arabic at home. We had a teacher of Arabic and Islamic studies who came from Saudi Arabia, and lived as part of our family.

“Arab families (in India) did not mix very much with others, but my father had close ties with people other than Arabs,” he added.

Al-Kazi has also won many prestigious Indian awards. He was the first recipient of Roopwedh Pratishthan’s Tanvir Award in 2004 for his contribution to Indian theater, and in 1966 received the Padma Shri award. He won the Padma Bhushan award in 1991, and was given India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2010.