By Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is among the world’s prime specialists on Iranian movie, and A Social background of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. overlaying the overdue 19th century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, renowned genres, and paintings movies, it explains Iran’s abnormal cinematic creation modes, in addition to the function of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a contemporary nationwide identification in Iran. This entire social heritage unfolds throughout 4 volumes, each one of that are favored on its own.
Volume 1 depicts and analyzes the early years of Iranian cinema. movie was once brought in Iran in 1900, 3 years after the country’s first advertisement movie exhibitor observed the hot medium in nice Britain. An artisanal cinema backed through the ruling shahs and different elites quickly emerged. The presence of ladies, either at the reveal and in motion picture homes, proved arguable until eventually 1925, while Reza Shah Pahlavi dissolved the Qajar dynasty. Ruling till 1941, Reza Shah applied a Westernization application meant to unite, modernize, and secularize his multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic nation. Cinematic representations of a fast-modernizing Iran have been inspired, the veil used to be outlawed, and dandies flourished. while, images, motion picture construction, and picture homes have been tightly managed. movie creation eventually proved marginal to nation formation. simply 4 silent characteristic movies have been produced in Iran; of the 5 Persian-language sound positive factors proven within the state earlier than 1941, 4 have been made by way of an Iranian expatriate in India.
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Additional resources for A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1: The Artisanal Era
5 My reviews indicate that each film about Iran concerned a specific problem, such as tuberculosis or dysentery, which was demonstrably manageable and curable. 6 Each of my reviews begins with a title closely resembling the actual film title and ends with a large “The End” (payan). The teacher’s brief comments appear at the bottom of a few of my reviews, in fact strict plot summaries (figure 16). The absence of personal opinion on my part may be interpreted in different ways: I was a child, too inexperienced and shy to express critical judgment about movies in writing; or I was applying a subconscious strategy of resistance, a refusal to make the 180-degree interpellative turn to become the subject of the Western Other.
In a fatalist society, pictures were proof of our existence, shoring us up against the vagaries of time and history. My current interest in documentation must have begun then. I assiduously took pictures of my two favorite subjects: the very young and the very old. I thought that children needed documentation to celebrate their arrival into the world (and besides, they were very cute), while the elders needed to prove their existence before departing into the netherworld. ” Following the custom of gender segregation, I had two notebooks: one for women and one for men.
Barely a month after arriving in Los Angeles, a sense of desolation and rage took me over, pushing me toward Stephen Crane’s horrific poetry and Jean-Paul Sartre’s humanist and existentialist philosophy. I copied many of Crane’s poems and passages from Sartre’s Nausea in my journal. On 26 April 1964, for example, I filled an entire page with the word nausea, repeated over and over, in a fashion chillingly reminiscent of Jack Torrance’s possessed writing of pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980).
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