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Iranian Cinema Essay

2569 words - 11 pages

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Post-revolutionary cinema
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Post-revolutionary Iranian cinema has been celebrated in many international forums and festivals for its distinct style, themes, authors, idea of nationhood, and cultural references. Starting With Viva... by Khosrow Sinai and followed by many excellent Iranian directors who emerged in the last few decades, such as Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi. Kiarostami, who some critics regard as one of the few great directors in the history of cinema,[12] planted Iran firmly on the map of world cinema when he won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Taste of ...view middle of the document...

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We must mention here "Tranquility in the Presence of Others" (Aramesh dar Hozur Deegaran, 1973) directed by Nasser Taghvai and rated by some critics as the best Iranian film of all timesContemporary Iranian cinema
Today, the Iranian box office is dominated by commercial Iranian films. Foreign films are not commonly shown in movie theaters as part of a ban on films originating from the West. But heavily censored versions of classic and contemporary Hollywood productions are shown on state television. Uncensored versions are easily available in black markets. Iranian art films are often not screened officially, and are viewable via illegal DVDs which are easily available. Nevertheless, some of these acclaimed films were screened in Iran and had box office success. Examples include Rassul Sadr Ameli's "I’m Taraneh, 15", Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's "Under the skin of the City", Bahman Ghobadi's "Marooned in Iraq" and Manijeh Hekmat's "Women's Prison".[17]
Commercial cinema in Iran
The internationally award-winning cinema of Iran is quite different from the domestically oriented films. The latter caters to an entirely different audience, which is largely under the age of 25. This commercial Iranian cinema genre is largely unknown in the West, as the films are targeted at local audiences. There are two categories of this type of film:
* Films about the victory of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the ensuing Iran–Iraq war, filled with strong religious and national motifs.
* Formulaic films starring popular actors. With 130 Iranian films looking for a screening each year, cinema managers tend to prefer crowd-pleasing comedies, romantic melodramas, and family comedies over the other genres.[18] The Lizard, Outsiders, Aquarium, Ceasefire, M like Mother, Glass Agency, Charlatan and Killing Mad Dogs were among the post-revolutionary films that gained the highest box office records.[19][20][21] These films have similarities with Indian popular cinema and with Hollywood (but also have distinct differences). They are chaste, in that the hero and his love interest do not so much kiss but rather walk off into the metaphorical sunset as the end credits roll. The appeal of these films is the escapism offered by their "western" attributes and their "non-Iranian" identity
* For many years, the most visible face of Iranian commercial cinema was Mohammad Ali Fardin, who starred in a number of popular successful films. In the more conservative social climate of Iran after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, however, he came to be considered an embarrassment to Iranian national identity and his films — which depicted romance, alcohol, scantily-dressed women, night-clubs, and a lifestyle now condemned by the Islamic government — were banned. Although this would effectively prevent Fardin from making films for the remainder of his life, the ban did little to diminish his broad popularity with Iranian moviegoers:...

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