By Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is among the world’s top 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 motion pictures, it explains Iran’s ordinary cinematic creation modes, in addition to the position of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a contemporary nationwide identification in Iran. This complete social heritage unfolds throughout 4 volumes, each 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 by means of the ruling shahs and different elites quickly emerged. The presence of girls, either at the reveal and in motion picture homes, proved arguable until eventually 1925, while Reza Shah Pahlavi dissolved the Qajar dynasty. Ruling until eventually 1941, Reza Shah carried out a Westernization software 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. while, images, motion picture construction, and picture homes have been tightly managed. movie construction finally proved marginal to nation formation. purely 4 silent characteristic motion pictures have been produced in Iran; of the 5 Persian-language sound positive factors proven within the state ahead of 1941, 4 have been made via an Iranian expatriate in India.
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Extra resources for A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1: The Artisanal Era
The film frames I bought there as a young boy typically showed Tarzan or handsome and beautiful movie stars. At night, I would go to one of the unoccupied rooms in our huge three-story house, shine a little black flashlight onto each frame, and watch the projected color images on the wall. I also found other creative uses for these film frames: Sometimes I folded a frame over itself so that when pressed on one side it produced a loud click. In a small way I had appropriated a Western commodity as raw material to make a native product, reversing the usual economic relationship.
Bols and indexes of modernization and as sites for secular conversion, rivaling the mosque. As an oppositional teenager, I lauded the weakening of all centralized authorities, be it the state, the party, or the mosque. In letters to friends and relatives I announced with pride the openings of new movie houses in Isfahan. A letter to my uncle Reza, dated 11 Bahman 1339 (31 Janu ary 1961), notes: “Recently a new movie house has opened in Jolfa. Called Moulin Rouge Cinema, it is better and more luxurious than the other cinemas in Isfahan.
Using this camera I documented bicycle outings with my family and excursions with school friends to the countryside—Kuleh Parcheh, Abshar, Chiriun, Kuh Donbeh, Atashgah, and Bagh Abrisham. I felt lonely most of the time in those days, and taking pictures helped cement our relationships, as for weeks afterward we traded and copied photographs. 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.