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Iranian Cinema and Globalization

National, Transnational, and Islamic Dimensions

Despite critical acclaim and a recent surge of popularity with Western audiences, Iranian cinema has been the subject of lamentably few academic studies—and those have by and large been limited to the films and filmmakers most visible on the international film circuit. Iranian Cinema and Globalization seeks to broaden readers’ exposure to other dimensions of Iranian cinema, including the works of the many prolific filmmakers whose films have received little outside attention despite being widely popular within Iran. Combining theories of globalization and national cinema with in-depth, interdisciplinary analyses of individual films, this volume expands the current literature on Iranian cinema with insights into the social, and religious political contexts involved.

240 pages | 15 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2012

Film Studies

Middle Eastern Studies

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“Shahab Esfandiary locates modern Iranian cinema within the global film industry and reveals fresh insights into the films of several of Iran’s leading directors. For anyone interested in Iranian cinema and its developments, this book is essential reading.”

Lloyd Ridgeon, University of Glasgow

Iranian Cinema and Globalization offers a coherent and well-sustained argument in relation to the complex and contradictory impact of globalization on a national cinema. A convincing case is made for the position of the Iranian film industry as one of the most important in the world and Shahab Esfandiary also demonstrates the ways in which the most liberating and empowering effects of globalization may, contrary to expectations, be found at the level of local and national film production.”

Roger Bromley, University of Nottingham

Table of Contents

Table of Figures

Part I: Theoretical Framework
Chapter 1: Making Sense of Globalization
    The global field
    Global flows
    A framework of the globalization theories
Chapter 2: The Concept of National Cinema: Theorization and Critique
    National cinema as ’intertextual symptom’
    National cinema as cultural/economic weapon
    National cinema as ’the other’ of Hollywood
    National cinema as ’cultural specificity’
    The relevance of ’national cinema’ in the age of globalization: Arguments for and against
Part II: Iranian Cinema and Globalization
Chapter 3: Iranian Cinema in the World Cinema Circuit: Politics, Economics and Aesthetics
    The foundations of a ’new cinema’
    The emergence of Muslim film-makers
    Debate and controversy over international awards
    The economics and politics of international festivals
    Selecting the examples
Chapter 4: Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s ’Transnational’ Cinema and Globalization
    Critique of the ’transnational institution of art’
    Makhmalbaf: From ’the local’ to ’the transnational’
    Banal transnationalism
    Sex and Philosophy
    Scream of the Ants
    The rise and fall of an ’idol’
    Transnational film-makers and territorial attachments
Chapter 5: Daryush Mehrjui’s ’National’ Cinema and Globalization
    The complex relation of ’the national’ and ’the Islamic’
    Iranian cinema’s new wave and the early impact of globalization
    Mehrjui and the post-revolution circumstances
    The Lodgers
    Mum’s Guests
Chapter 6: Ebrahim Hatami-kia’s ’Sacred Defense’ Cinema and Globalization
    Muslim Film-makers: From Makhmalbaf to Hatami-kia
    The Scout: Constructing the image of the basiji
    From Karkhe to Rhine: Recognition of ’the other’
    Glass Agency: return of the rebel

Appendix 1: Interview with Abbas Kiarostami
Appendix II: Interview with Majid Majidi
Appendix III: Interview with Emad Afroogh
Appendix IV: Interview with Mohammad-reza Jafari-jelveh

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