A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1: The Artisanal by Hamid Naficy

By Hamid Naficy

Hamid Naficy is among the world’s best experts on Iranian movie, and A Social heritage of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. protecting the overdue 19th century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, renowned genres, and artwork movies, it explains Iran’s extraordinary cinematic construction modes, in addition to the position of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a contemporary nationwide identification in Iran. This entire social historical past unfolds throughout 4 volumes, every one of which might be favored on its own.

Volume 1 depicts and analyzes the early years of Iranian cinema. movie used to be brought in Iran in 1900, 3 years after the country’s first advertisement movie exhibitor observed the recent medium in nice Britain. An artisanal cinema backed through the ruling shahs and different elites quickly emerged. The presence of girls, either at the reveal and in motion picture homes, proved arguable till 1925, while Reza Shah Pahlavi dissolved the Qajar dynasty. Ruling until eventually 1941, Reza Shah applied a Westernization software meant to unite, modernize, and secularize his multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic nation. Cinematic representations of a fast-modernizing Iran have been inspired, the veil was once outlawed, and dandies flourished. while, images, motion picture creation, and film homes have been tightly managed. movie construction finally proved marginal to kingdom formation. purely 4 silent function movies have been produced in Iran; of the 5 Persian-language sound positive aspects proven within the nation earlier than 1941, 4 have been made by way of an Iranian expatriate in India.

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Four garden plots separated the pool from the paved yard, and four thirsty tongues of the yard reached between those plots and rested on the side of the pool. It was a cold day, and the white mulberry trees in the garden were bare. To my amazement I observed that it was Keyvan who was playing this beautiful tune on his violin as he walked around the pool casting his shadow on the gently rippling water. Keyvan’s father took him to West Germany for treatment, where he stayed. His father returned, however, and brought me a present—a 35mm Agfa camera.

I am trying to understand it as fully as possible because it is worth it” (22 Ordibehesht 1339 / 12 May 1960). Holding the color slides of Hepburn’s enchanting face to the light felt like holding a piece of a dream, a condensed image of Russia and America. At night, I sometimes put myself to sleep by going over the scenes of recent movies. That night, after returning home from War and Peace, as I was falling asleep I recalled scenes from Les Misérables (1956), directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois, based on Victor Hugo’s novel, and starring the great Jean Gabin.

All three of our prisoners were released with the 1978–79 revolution, only to be executed, disappear, and go underground, respectively, during the early Islamic Republic era. I was on a yearlong sabbatical in the United States in 1978 when the revolution toppled the Pahlavi regime. Although at first we cele­brated the revolution for its emancipatory potential, soon the new Islamic regime’s theocratic and authoritarian intolerance and violence erased the gains. Some family members went into exile voluntarily; others illegally as refugees.

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