Allegory in Iranian Cinema: The Aesthetics of Poetry and Resistance

Allegory in Iranian Cinema: The Aesthetics of Poetry and Resistance

by Michelle Langford

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Overview

Iranian filmmakers have long been recognised for creating a vibrant, aesthetically rich cinema whilst working under strict state censorship regulations. As Michelle Langford reveals, many have found indirect, allegorical ways of expressing forbidden topics and issues in their films. But for many, allegory is much more than a foil against haphazardly applied censorship rules. Drawing on a long history of allegorical expression in Persian poetry and the arts, allegory has become an integral part of the poetics of Iranian cinema. Allegory in Iranian Cinema explores the allegorical aesthetics of Iranian cinema, explaining how it has emerged from deep cultural traditions and how it functions as a strategy for both supporting and resisting dominant ideology.
As well as tracing the roots of allegory in Iranian cinema before and after the 1979 revolution, Langford also theorizes this cinematic mode. She draws on a range of cinematic, philosophical and cultural concepts - developed by thinkers such as Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Christian Metz and Vivian Sobchack - to provide a theoretical framework for detailed analyses of films by renowned directors of the pre-and post-revolutionary eras including Masoud Kimiai, Dariush Mehrjui, Ebrahim Golestan, Kamran Shirdel, Majid Majidi, Jafar Panahi, Marziyeh Meshkini, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Asghar Farhadi.
Allegory in Iranian Cinema explains how a centuries-old means of expression, interpretation, encoding and decoding becomes, in the hands of Iran's most skilled cineastes, a powerful tool with which to critique and challenge social and cultural norms.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780762982
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 07/25/2019
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.51(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Michelle Langford is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Her research spans the cinemas of Iran and Germany. She is author of Allegorical Images: Tableau, Time and Gesture in the Cinema of Werner Schroeter (2006) and the editor of The Directory of World Cinema: Germany (2012, 2013). Her work on Iranian cinema has appeared in leading film studies journals including Camera Obscura, Screen and Screening the Past.

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