SAM Seminar 11: Iranian Post-Revolution Cinema

When:20 Aug 2013, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Venue:Ritchie Theatre, John Niland Scientia Building
Who:Hamid Naficy (Northwestern University)
Hamid Naficy at UNSW

Iranian Post-Revolution Cinema:
From Iconoclasm to Global Cinema

Hamid Naficy
Althani Professor of Communication (Radio-TV-Film)
Northwestern University

Hamid Naficy is a leading authority on cinema and television in the Middle East, has produced many educational films and experimental videos, and has published extensively about theories of exile and displacement, exilic and diaspora cinema and media, and Iranian and Third World cinemas. His many publications include such well-known titles as An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking. Most recently, he has published A Social History of Iranian Cinema, in four volumes, available from Duke University Press.

This talk charts both the revolutionary destruction and the subsequent rebuilding of the Iranian film industry under the Islamic Republic. Identified as one of the agents of moral corruption of the country, movies and moviehouses became targets of a rising anti-Shah movement, resulting in the destruction of nearly a third of the nation’s moviehouses. The revolutionary experience and the bloody war with Iraq encouraged soul-searching, resulting in a vast array of documentary and fiction films. Women’s presence, both on camera and behind camera, increased significantly in all genres, in both television and movie industries, leading to a veritable “women’s cinema.” Video, satellite TV, and the Internet posed a vexing problem for the regime, encouraging a culture of duality, resistance, and opposition. The post-revolution era bred its own dissident art-house parallel cinema, involving some of the best Pahlavi era new-wave directors and a new crop of innovative post-revolution directors, which placed Iranian cinema on the map of the vital “world cinemas.” The displacement and dispersion of a massive number of Iranians resulted in a new diasporic social formation and a diasporic “accented cinema.” The talk is illustrated by ample visuals and film clips.

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