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Ashanti Omkar

Ashanti Omkar

Film and culture critic and broadcaster

Ashanti Omkar is a film and culture critic and broadcaster, regularly seen commentating on BBC TV, Sky News, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. A regular on BBC Radio, she presented her own eponymous radio show on BBC Sounds for seven years. She’s a regular contributor to Monocle and Times Radio, as well as Time Out, and a BAFTA juror and Hollywood Critics Choice member.

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Articles (5)

The best horror movies and shows of 2024 (so far) for a truly scary watch

The best horror movies and shows of 2024 (so far) for a truly scary watch

Last year, a genre usually filled with shambling zombies and sentient mounds of carnivorous goo birthed leftfield successes like M3GAN and Skinamarink, low-budget horror hits that elbowed their way to viral status, even amid the giddy fluorescence of Barbie and prestige awardsiness of Oppenheimer.  By contrast, this year’s slate of scares probably won’t catch too many people sleeping. 2024 is loaded with genre prequels, sequels and spin-offs, from MaXXXine, the third instalment of Ti West’s cult-fave franchise, to the alien-invasion terror of A Quiet Place: Day One, to the extremely-long-awaited Beetlejuice 2. But given that horror is historically a genre of small expectations and big surprises, there’s bound to be something that pops up to frighten the bejeepers out of us when we least expect it. Here’s the best of what’s freaked us out so far.  🎃 The 100 best horror films ever made 😱 The scariest movies based on a true story 💀 The best horror movies of 2023

The 101 Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time

The 101 Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time

Has movie music ever been better? With legends like John Williams and Howard Shore still at work, Hans Zimmer at the peaks of his powers, and the likes of Jonny Greenwood, AR Rahman, Mica Levi, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross knocking it out of the park, the modern film score is a Dolby Atmos-enhancing feast of modernist compositions, lush orchestral classicism and atmospheric soundscapes.What better time, then, to celebrate this art form within an art form – with a few iconic soundtracks thrown in – and pay tribute to the musicians who’ve given our favourite movies (and, to be fair, some stinkers) earworm-laden accompaniment? Of course, narrowing it all down to a mere 100 is tough. We’ve prioritised music written for the screen, but worthy contenders still missed out, including Dimitri Tiomkin’s era-defining score for It’s a Wonderful Life and Elton John’s hummable tunes for The Lion King.To help do the narrowing down, we’ve recruited iconic movie composers, directors and broadcasters like Philip Glass, Carter Burwell, Max Richter, Anne Dudley, AR Rahman, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Edgar Wright and Mark Kermode to pick their favourites. Happy listening!Recommended: 🔥 The 100 best movies of all time.🪩 The 50 best uses of songs in movies.💃 The greatest musical movies ever made.

The ten best Bollywood actors

The ten best Bollywood actors

As he told David Letterman in 2019, Shah Rukh Khan boasts 3.5 billion fans aross includes his home land, the wider Indian diaspora and even Greece, Switzerland, and Egypt. Three point five BILLION. Such is the extraordinary levels of fame attained by India’s most famous actor and his only-slightly-less-famous acting peers in the country’s film industry. Hollywood stars can only dream of those numbers. But who sits alongside Khan at the top of that very big, very lush tree? There are a whole host to choose from, including OGs like Mammootty, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna and Hrithik Roshan, and a new generation of rising stars like Dulquer Salmaan, Fahadh Faasil, Prabhas and Vijay Devarakonda. Picking a top ten is no easy task. Here are our picks. 

The 100 best Bollywood movies

The 100 best Bollywood movies

We need to talk about Bollywood. Not as a source of magnificently uplifting movies with great songs and flamboyant costumes – that’s a given – but as a term. For the purposes of this list we’re using it as a catch-all for the full multitude of Indian film industries. This, we know, will upset purists who’ll point out – correctly – that it should only be used to refer to the Hindi film industry based in Mumbai. But rightly or wrongly, the term has come to represent Indian cinema more broadly – taking in everything from the Telugu-language films of Hyderabad to the very un-Bollywood work of Kolkata great Satyajit Ray. It’s an imperfect framework to examine a complex, multilingual film culture, but it’s a great way to introduce a tonne of worthy movies to dive into. Which brings us to our next dilemma, because choosing a definitive ‘best-of’ list is an impossible task. Our top 100 is a bulging, wildly varied collection of our favourites: there are rom-coms like Jab We Met, canonical ‘curry westerns’ like Sholay, eternal romantic touchstones like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, modern classics like Swades and Barfi!, and art-house staples like Ardh Satya and Ankur. Between them all, they’re proof that Bollywood is both more than, and the epitome of, song-and-dance cinema. And whether you’re looking for musicals, action, comedy or romance, there’s something here for you. RECOMMENDED: 🇮🇳 The 11 best Bollywood songs🔥 The 100 best movies of all time🎌 The 50 best foreign language fi

The 50 coolest filmmakers in the world right now

The 50 coolest filmmakers in the world right now

What makes a filmmaker cool? In the heyday of the studio system it might have been about creative autonomy, an office on the lot and the studio barman knowing how to mix your Martini. In the heady, revolutionary days of the ’60s and ’70s, a devil-may-care attitude, radical new stories to tell, and ideally a beard of some description might have marked you out as the hipster’s auteur of choice. Times have changed, though. The moviemaking world has fewer boundaries, more entry points and finally, slowly but surely, more hunger to share stories by women and people of colour.  There’s a long way to go but we wanted to celebrate a time of gradual change by singling out the filmmakers who are genuinely moving the dial. The ones swinging for the fences in their choice of material and the way they’re bringing it to the screen. They’re not all new names – you’ll find some old stalwarts on here – but they all have in common a restless urge to do something different, exciting, bold. They come from across the planet and reflect all genres, and every kind of movie and moviemaking style. To take it a step further, we’ve asked a few of them – Rian Johnson, Barry Jenkins and Lynne Ramsay, among others – to share what makes them tick as movie lovers: the scenes that make them laugh hardest, the cinemas they stan for, the cities that inspire them, and the movies that have left them cowering in the back row. Even the posters that they had up on their bedroom walls growing up. Turns out that a lo

News (6)

‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’: cast, plot and everything we know so far

‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’: cast, plot and everything we know so far

Shondaland’s Netflix period romance Bridgerton is officially huge. How huge? Well, season 2 clocked 627 million hours of viewing time in four weeks flat. It was destination viewing in 190 countries around the world, spreading the reassuring joys of Regency England to all corners of the globe. Its diverse, colour-blind ensemble of characters (and their thrillingly overheated love lives) have helped change the narrative around how period settings can be depicted on screen. And another treat awaits, gentle reader. Shonda Rhimes and her production company, Shondaland, are focusing on the teenage versions of Queen Charlotte and her BFFs: Violet and Agatha, who would became Lady Bridgerton and Lady Danbury respectively. The biracial Charlotte, the most gossiped-about character in Bridgerton, is half-Guyanese, half-English and played by Guyanese-British actress Golda Rosheuvel. She’s known for her love of snuff, Pomeranians and high-rise wigs, and her origin story will chart her love affair with her future husband, George. So plant some wisteria, prep your finery, order a bone china tea set and start mastering the art of the cucumber sandwich, because ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ is coming soon. Here’s what we know so far.  When is Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story on Netflix? The series is likely to land in 2023, although no official release has been announced. But we know that it will be eight episodes, with the opener, ‘Queen to Be’, introducing the pre-royal Charlotte

5 things not to miss at the London Indian Film Festival

5 things not to miss at the London Indian Film Festival

Europe’s biggest South Asian film festival heads into its thirteenth year this week with an eclectic line up of films and talks exploring the Indian subcontinent and the global diaspora. The brainchild of Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE, a diversity and LGBTQ+ champion, the fest traverses all genres and caters for all tastes. The filmmakers and actors who swing by for its talks and premieres are a pretty diverse bunch, too: Farhan Akhtar, Asif Kapadia, Gillian Anderson, Radhika Apte and Richa Chadha have walked the red carpet in the past. Here’s what to look out for at the BFI Southbank and other UK-wide venues as it gets underway this week. 1. Dobaaraa This year’s opening gala is maverick director Anurag Kashyap’s ode to Back To The Future, solving a mystery through time travel. The world premiere is complete with a glitzy red carpet, set to be walked by Bollywood star Taapsee Pannu. She’s the lead in a whodunnit with an intriguing sci-fi twist. Photograph: LIFF‘The Rapist’ 2. Aparna Sen in conversation + the UK premiere of The Rapist A child actress who started her journey with the great Satyajit Ray, and now a top filmmaker in her own right, Aparna Sen gives a rare talk ahead of her new film, The Rapist. A powerful look at sexual assault, it features a powerhouse performance from Aparna’s own daughter, Konkona Sen Sharma as an academic whose world falls apart after a brutal incident. 3. Nandita Das masterclass Acting legend Nandita Das will be sitting down to share some wisd

Top Boy season 2: everything you need to know

Top Boy season 2: everything you need to know

Life is always a rollercoaster for Top Boy fans. One minute the show is gone for good, then it’s been revived by a haloed pairing of Drake and Netflix, then it’s been shunted to one side by an actual pandemic. But the best things are worth waiting for, and the London crime saga is definitely one of those. Just ask the army of stalwart fans who have followed it from terrestrial TV to worldwide streaming and seen its leads, Ashley Walters, Kano, Little Simz and Micheal Ward becoming household names around the world. With the fourth season landing on Netflix next month, we’ve assembled everything we know so far about Dushane, Sully and co’s eagerly-awaited new eight-part run. Photograph: Chris Harris/NetflixMicheal Ward as Jamie Tovell When can I watch the new Top Boy season? The pandemic halted filming of the second Netflix season, leaving fans hanging, until a huge BFI IMAX billboard in February let the world know that a Top Boy re-up was imminent. Sure enough, all ten episodes land on Netflix on Friday March 18. Is there a trailer for the new Top Boy? The trailer dropped on March 1 and you can watch it below. What season of Top Boy are we up to now? Top Boy seasons 1 and 2 originally aired on terrestrial TV in the UK. Then, in 2013, Channel 4 cancelled the show, leaving fans bereft. But with support from superfan and executive-producer Drake, Netflix picked up the rights and revived the show in 2019, expanding it from four episodes to ten. Season 2 will have eight episod

Bridgerton season 2: cast, plot and everything we know so far

Bridgerton season 2: cast, plot and everything we know so far

Shondaland’s Netflix streaming show Bridgerton arrived like a gift just when we needed it most: the pandemic was draining our spirits and its heady mix of romance, gossipy socialites, costumes and ludicrously OTT balls was the perfect tonic. Around the world, 82 million households watched it – in a month. So anticipation levels for season 2 are higher than one of Queen Charlotte’s wigs. Storyline specifics are still under wraps but it’s safe to expect more fabulous costumes, opulent jewellery and hair, NSFW sex scenes, horse riding, shooting, other even steamier sex scenes, ballroom dances to pop bangers, and tons of drama and rich people problems. Lady Whistledown requests the pleasure of your presence for our season 2 primer.  Photograph: Netflix​The Bridgerton​ clan (left to right): ​​Violet (Ruth Gemmell), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Benedict (Luke Thompson)​.​ When is Bridgerton season 2 on Netflix? The second season launches on March 25, 2022 on Netflix globally. If it follows the same format as season 1, expect seven hour-long episodes and a slightly longer final episode. Is there a trailer for Bridgerton season 2? Verily! A first-look clip was launched at Netflix’s Tudum fan event in September, followed by a proper teaser trailer in February 2022. Take a look below.    What is Bridgerton about?  If you’re new to the party, fear not: it’s not too late to catch up on Netflix’s Emmy-winning smash. Essentially, Bridgerton is a raunchy and sc

'Los Bridgerton' temporada 2: repartiment, trama i tot el que sabem fins ara

'Los Bridgerton' temporada 2: repartiment, trama i tot el que sabem fins ara

'Los Bridgerton', la sèrie de la productora americana Shondaland distribuïda a Netflix globalment, va arribar com un regal quan més ho necessitàvem. La barreja d'història romàtica embriagadora, secrets de l'alta societat, disfresses i balls pomposos va ser la clau del seu èxit. Més de 82 milions de persones la van veure en tot el món, en tan sols un mes. Per tant, les expectatives en la vigília de la segona temporada són més altes que les perruques de la reina Charlotte. Els detalls de la història encara són un secret, però és segur que veurem disfresses encara més fabuloses, joies, pentinats opulents, escenes de sexe, llargs passejos a cavall, balls de saló, tones i tones de drama i problemes de gent rica. Lady Whistledown sol·licita la vostra presència per conèixer tota la informació de la temporada 2 de 'Los Bridgerton' Foto: Netflix. ​The Bridgerton​: ​​Violet (Ruth Gemmell), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) i Benedict (Luke Thompson)​.​ Quan podrem veure la temporada 2 de 'Los Bridgerton' a Netflix? La segona temporada de la sèrie s'estrena el 25 de març de 2022 a Netflix a escala mundial. Si segueix el mateix format que la temporada 1, esperem set episodis d'una hora i un episodi final una mica més llarg. Es pot veure el tràiler de la nova temporada? El tràiler de la temporada 2 de 'Los Bridgerton' es va poder veure per primer cop en un esdeveniment dels fans de Tudum de Netflix el setembre de 2021. De què va 'Los

'Los Bridgerton' temporada 2: reparto, trama y todo lo que sabemos hasta la fecha

'Los Bridgerton' temporada 2: reparto, trama y todo lo que sabemos hasta la fecha

'Los Bridgerton', la serie de la productora americana Shondaland distribuida globalmente en Netflix, llegó como un regalo cuando más lo necesitábamos. La mezcla de romance embriagador, secretos de la alta sociedad, disfraces y bailes pomposos fue la clave de su éxito. Más de 82 millones de personas la vieron en todo el mundo, en solamente un mes. Por ello, las expectativas de su público para la segunda temporada son más altas que las pelucas de la reina Charlotte. Los detalles de la historia todavía son un secreto, pero seguro que veremos disfraces aún más fabulosos, joyas, peinados opulentos, escenas de sexo, largos paseos a caballo, bailes de salón, toneladas y toneladas de drama y problemas de gente rica. Lady Whistledown solicita su presencia para conocer toda la información de la temporada 2 de Los Bridgerton. Foto: NetflixBridgerton ¿Cuándo podremos ver la temporada 2 de 'Los Bridgerton' en Netflix? La segunda temporada de la serie se estrena el 25 de marzo de 2022 en Netflix a nivel mundial. Si sigue el mismo formato que la primera temporada, veremos siete episodios de una hora y un episodio final un poco más largo. ¿Se puede ver el tráiler de la nueva temporada? El tráiler de la temporada 2 de los Bridgerton se pudo ver por primera vez en un evento de los fans de Tudum en Netflix en septiembre de 2021. ¿De qué trata 'Los Bridgerton'? Si eres nuevo en la fiesta, no te preocupes: no es tarde para ponerte al día con este éxito ganador de un Emmy de Netflix. 'Los