By Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is among the world’s best specialists on Iranian movie, and A Social background of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. masking the overdue 19th century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, well known genres, and paintings motion pictures, it explains Iran’s odd cinematic construction modes, in addition to the function 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 are liked on its own.
Volume 2 spans the interval of Mohammad Reza Shah’s rule, from 1941 till 1978. in this time Iranian cinema flourished and have become industrialized, at its top generating greater than 90 motion pictures every year. The country used to be instrumental in construction the infrastructures of the cinema and tv industries, and it instituted an enormous gear of censorship and patronage. in the course of the moment international battle the Allied powers competed to regulate the flicks proven in Iran. within the following many years, distinctive indigenous cinemas emerged. The extra renowned, conventional, and advertisement filmfarsi videos integrated tough-guy motion pictures and the “stewpot” style of melodrama, with plots reflecting the fast adjustments in Iranian society. The new-wave cinema was once a smaller yet extra influential cinema of dissent, made in most cases by means of foreign-trained filmmakers and modernist writers against the regime. paradoxically, the country either funded and censored a lot of the new-wave cinema, which grew bolder in its feedback as nation authoritarianism consolidated. a necessary documentary cinema additionally built within the prerevolutionary period.
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Extra info for A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 2: The Industrializing Years
This committee was “concerned with dissemi‑ nation of information abroad about Soviet films, exchange of ideas and expe‑ rience with foreign film organizations, and providing of material assistance to admirers of the Soviet cinema” (Nemzer 1949:273). According to a report by the Central Intelligence Agency, by 1948 the Soviet Union was exhibiting propaganda films and feature movies throughout Iran by means of its Teh‑ ran embassy, thirteen regional consulates, and several cultural organizations.
Film exhibition thus proved im‑ provisational, echoing the chaos and spontaneity of cinema’s mode of pro‑ duction and narratives. Such chaos had some counterhegemonic effects, as filmmakers and entertainers took advantage of Cook’s situation to criticize the state. ” As a result, comic forestage songwriters and skit performers such as Entezami were given free reign to criticize society, “spar‑ ing neither municipality, nor courts, nor clergy,” as long as no names were used (Cook 1949:410). At any rate, as Ramazani notes, “Under the protection of the minister of the interior, she was able to fight off the intrigues organized against her by commercial and political interests and to lighten considerably the heavy hand of censorship.
6 Newspapers in the United States gave accounts of her exploits in Iran. The Des Moines Register reported on her efforts as the “director of state theaters and i nter natio nal haggling 5 1 Nilla Cram Cook, Iran’s first censorship czar for cinema and the performing arts after the Second World War. Still courtesy of M. Eleanor Fitzgerald (1877–1955) Papers, 1915–1974, Manuscript Collection 13, Archives, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. ”7 The full reasons for appointing an American to this sensitive national and political position are unknown.
A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 2: The Industrializing Years by Hamid Naficy