By Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is likely one of the world’s prime professionals on Iranian movie, and A Social historical past of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. masking the past due 19th century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, renowned genres, and paintings movies, it explains Iran’s odd cinematic creation modes, in addition to the position of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a contemporary nationwide identification in Iran. This accomplished social background unfolds throughout 4 volumes, every one of that are liked 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 by means of 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 carried out a Westernization application meant to unite, modernize, and secularize his multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic state. Cinematic representations of a fast-modernizing Iran have been inspired, the veil used to be outlawed, and dandies flourished. even as, images, motion picture creation, and film homes have been tightly managed. movie creation finally proved marginal to kingdom formation. simply 4 silent function motion pictures have been produced in Iran; of the 5 Persian-language sound good points proven within the nation sooner 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
The private family republic of letters was gradually ravaged by the state, first under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and then under the ayatollahs, resulting in the secret police’s arrest of scores of members, the execution of nearly a dozen, the imprisonment of many more, and the dispersal of many others to foreign lands. The political and ideological divisions within the family further exacerbated the actions of the repressive states. This politicization of the family intellectuals and cultural producers and the terrible toll it took was emblematic of the whole country.
For the lens, they adapted an ordinary magnifier, which they installed inside a tube; for the claw mechanism that pulled the film using sprocket holes, they drove nails into a wooden spool they obtained from a textile mill; for the motor to drive the projector, they cannibalized an electric fan they had purchased for the purpose; and for the belt connecting the motor to the claw mechanism, they waxed some twine. After all this, they discovered their projector’s Achilles’ heel: they needed a shutter and an intermittent movement mechanism to hold each frame still for a fraction of a second in front of the lens.
They affected my research methodologies and scholarship, including those for this book, as I conducted many interviews with filmmakers and industry people about their biographies, production and exhibition practices, and the limitations and censorship of their works. I engaged in participant observation of filming and paid attention to the demography and ethnography of spectators and to their opinions. In the present book, films are not regarded as autonomous art objects or just commercial products but as works resulting from complex social, political, industrial, cultural, and authorial processes of signification, production, consumption, and negotiation that are individual and collective as well as national and transnational.
A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1: The Artisanal Era by Hamid Naficy