Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future (Paperback)by Hamid Dabashi
Abbas Kiraostami planted Iran firmly on the map of world cinema when he won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival in 1997 for his filmA Taste of Cherry. Here the growing reputation of Iranian cinema from its origins in the films of Kimiai and Mehrjui, through the work of established directors such as Kiraostami, Beyzai and Bani-Etemad, to young film-makers like Samira Makhmalbaf and Bahman Qobadi, who triumphed at the Cannes 2000 festival, is examined. Dabashi employs interviews with directors, insightful commentary on individual films, an extensive filmography, and generous illustration to provide an indispensable guide to a little-studied cinematic genre. Unabashedly polemical, he dissects the idea of the oriental in western perceptions of Iranian cinema and details the way that film festivals and distribution in the west have shaped domestic output in Iran. He looks, too, at the particular difficulties faced by women film-makers in a country of Islamic orthodoxy, and the obstacles placed in the path of directors attempting to introduce dissident politics in their work.