Sunday, August 31, 2014

Early Persian Cinema (1900-1949)

I'm currently putting together a zine entitled An Introduction to Iranian Cinema, which will be released at BOOKMACHINE books + zines on Friday, September 5th during the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk.  There will be a corresponding art show and screenings of excerpts from films we've watched. Here's an excerpt...

Early Persian Cinema (1900-1949)...

Cinema was only five years old when it came to Persia at the beginning of the 20th century. The first Persian filmmaker was Mirzah Ebrahim Khan Akkas Bashi, the official photographer of the Shah of Persia from 1896–1907. After a visit to Paris in July 1900, Akkas Bashi obtained a camera and filmed the Shah’s visit to Europe.   In 1904, Mirzah Ebrahim Khan Sahhafbashi opened the first movie theater in Tehran.  In 1925, Ovanes Ohanian established the first film school in Iran, which he called The Cinema Artist Educational Centre.  In 1930 the first Iranian silent Film was made by Professor Ovanes Ohanian called Haji Agha. In 1932, Abdolhossein Sepanta made the first Iranian sound film, entitled Lor Girl. Sepanta would go on to direct movies such as Ferfowsi (the life story of the most celebrated epic poet of Iran), Shirin and Farhaad (a classic Iranian love story), and Black Eyes (the story of Nader Shah’s invasion of India). In 1937, he directed Laili and Majnoon, an Eastern love story similar to the English story of Romeo and Juliet. Early Persian directors like Sepanta and Esmail Koushan took advantage of the richness of Persian literature and ancient Persian mythology. In their work, they emphasized ethics and humanity.  In 1949, Farrokh Ghaffari established the first National Iranian Film Society.  Ghaffari laid the foundation for alternative and non-commercial films in Iran.

Poster of the film Shirin and Farhaad, directed by Abdolhossein Sepanta (1935)

No comments:

Post a Comment