Duke University Press published two first volumes of its "A Social History of Iranian Cinema" written by Hamid Naficy from the School of Communication at Northwestern University.

A Social History of Iranian Cinema
Volume 1: The Artisanal Era, 1897–1941
Volume 2: The Industrializing Years, 1941–1978
Volume 3: The Islamicate Period, 1978–1984
Volume 4: The Globalizing Era, 1984–2010

Social History of Iranian Cinema
Fig. 1. A Social History of Iranian Cinema. Courtesy of Duke University Press, 2011.

Publication Data

Naficy, Hamid. A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1: The Artisanal Era, 1897–1941. Duke University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4775-0.

Description

Hamid Naficy is one of the world’s leading authorities on Iranian film, and A Social History of Iranian Cinema  is his magnum opus. Covering the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, popular genres, and art films, it explains Iran’s peculiar cinematic production modes, as well as the role of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a modern national identity in Iran. This comprehensive social history unfolds across four volumes, each of which can be appreciated on its own.

Volume 1 depicts and analyzes the early years of Iranian cinema. Film was introduced in Iran in 1900, three years after the country’s first commercial film exhibitor saw the new medium in Great Britain. An artisanal cinema industry sponsored by the ruling shahs and other elites soon emerged. The presence of women, both on the screen and in movie houses, proved controversial until 1925, when Reza Shah Pahlavi dissolved the Qajar dynasty. Ruling until 1941, Reza Shah implemented a Westernization program intended to unite, modernize, and secularize his multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic country. Cinematic representations of a fast-modernizing Iran were encouraged, the veil was outlawed, and dandies flourished. At the same time, photography, movie production, and movie houses were tightly controlled. Film production ultimately proved marginal to state formation. Only four silent feature films were produced in Iran; of the five Persian-language sound features shown in the country before 1941, four were made by an Iranian expatriate in India.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations  ix
Acknowledgments  xiii
Organization of the Volumes  xxi
A Word about Illustrations  xxvii
Preface. How It All Began  xxix
Introduction. National Cinema, Modernity, and Iranian National Identity  1
1. Artisanal Silent Cinema in the Qajar Period  27
2. Ideological and Spectatorial Formations  71
3. State Formation and Nonfiction Cinema: Syncretic Westernization during the First Pahlavi Period  141
4. A Transitional Cinema: The Feature Film Industry and Sound Cinema  197
5. Modernity's Ambivalent Subjectivity: Dandies and the Dandy Movie Genre  277
Notes  309
Bibliography  343
Index  371

Social History of Iranian Cinema
Fig. 2. A Social History of Iranian Cinema. Courtesy of Duke University Press, 2011.

Publication Data

Naficy, Hamid. A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 2: The Industrializing Years, 1941–1978. Duke University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4774-3.

Description

Volume 2 spans the period of Mohammad Reza Shah’s rule, from 1941 until 1978. During this time Iranian cinema flourished and became industrialized, at its height producing more than ninety films each year. The state was instrumental in building the infrastructures of the cinema and television industries, and it instituted a vast apparatus of censorship and patronage. During the Second World War the Allied powers competed to control the movies shown in Iran. In the following decades, two distinct indigenous cinemas emerged. The more popular, traditional, and commercial filmfarsi movies included tough-guy films and the “stewpot” genre of melodrama, with plots reflecting the rapid changes in Iranian society. The new-wave cinema was a smaller but more influential cinema of dissent, made mostly by foreign-trained filmmakers and modernist writers opposed to the regime. Ironically, the state both funded and censored much of the new-wave cinema, which grew bolder in its criticism as state authoritarianism consolidated. A vital documentary cinema also developed in the prerevolutionary era.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations  ix
Acknowledgments  xiii
Organization of the Volumes  xxi
A Word about Illustrations  xxvii
List of Abbreviations  xxix
1. International Haggling over Iranian Public Screens  1
2. The Statist Documentary Cinema and Its Alternatives  49
3. Commercial Cinema's Evolution: From Artisanal Mode to Hybrid Production  147
4. Family Melodramas and Comedies: The Stewpot Movie Genre  197
5. Males, Masculinity, and Power: The Tough-Guy Movie Genre and Its Evolution  261
6. A Dissident Cinema: New-Wave Films and the End of an Era  325
Notes  433
Bibliography  473
Index  497

About the Author

Hamid Naficy is Professor of Radio-Television-Film and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication at Northwestern University. He is the author of An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking, The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles, and (in Persian) Film-e Mostanad, a two-volume history of nonfiction cinema around the world. Naficy helped to launch ongoing annual Iranian film festivals in Los Angeles and Houston.

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