By Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is without doubt one of the world’s best gurus on Iranian movie, and A Social heritage of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. protecting the past due 19th century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, well known genres, and artwork motion pictures, it explains Iran’s abnormal cinematic construction modes, in addition to the position of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a latest nationwide identification in Iran. This entire social historical past unfolds throughout 4 volumes, each one of which are preferred 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 kingdom was once 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 warfare the Allied powers competed to regulate the flicks proven in Iran. within the following a long time, designated indigenous cinemas emerged. The extra well known, conventional, and advertisement filmfarsi video clips incorporated 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 commonly by means of foreign-trained filmmakers and modernist writers against the regime. satirically, the kingdom either funded and censored a lot of the new-wave cinema, which grew bolder in its feedback as kingdom authoritarianism consolidated. a necessary documentary cinema additionally built within the prerevolutionary period.
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Additional resources for A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 2: The Industrializing Years
Founded by Hosain Jowdat and led by the secretary of the Russian consulate, Karim Ke‑ shavarz, the Farhang Club received a monthly subsidy of forty tomans from the Russian legation. The club had a theater, a reading room, and a cinema, whose proceeds were used for welfare purposes. Iranian plays, such as Hasan Moqaddam’s Jafar Khan Is Back from Europe, as well as those by European au‑ thors such as Molière, Racine, Victor Hugo, and Ruy Blas were performed there. The Farhang Club also had a women’s offshoot, which staged plays for women whose performers were also, and unusually, women, such as Fatemeh Nashuri, Parirokh Vahdat, and Banu Khojastegi (Floor 2005:245–46).
At the same time, the Tudeh Party used the auditorium of the Mayak Cinema for less clan‑ destine purposes, like official celebrations. One example was the graduation party for women who had passed literary night classes in 1946 (72). These uses show the integration of movie houses into leftist political and cultural activities. One Tudeh sympathizer drawn to Marxism through cinema and Soviet cultural activities was Bijan Jazani, who in the 1960s would ironically be‑ come both a capitalist filmmaker, making advertising films, and a leader of the Marxist underground guerrillas, Fadaiyan‑e Khalq‑e Iran (People’s Fadai‑ yan of Iran, pfoi).
A teacher asks a female student to name three “beautiful words” that begin with the letter alif (a). Answer: ana (mother), Azarbaijan, and azadi (freedom). Many other short news films about Azari nationalism and the in‑ dependence movement are now posted on YouTube. 33 However, prominent cosmopolitan fig‑ ures like Naficy were members of both the Iran-Soviet Cultural Relations So‑ ciety and the Iran-America Relations Society. The Iran-Soviet Cultural Re‑ lations Society in 1944 had ambitious goals for film: the dissemination of Soviet educational films; the making of documentaries about Iranian arts, 18 i nt e r nat i o n a l ha g g li n g scenery, and social life to publicize the country’s “greatness” abroad; facilitat‑ ing the insertion into Soviet movies of historical and literary items related to Iran; the training of Iranian film actors; and the creation of the foundations for a film industry in Iran (Tahaminejad 2004a:35).
A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 2: The Industrializing Years by Hamid Naficy