Iranian cult cinema

Authored by: Babak Tabarraee

The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138950276
eBook ISBN: 9781315668819
Adobe ISBN:


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Watching films can rarely be free of ideological and political connotations. This is especially true about Iran. A turbulent history of power struggles and contesting cultural policies in this country, at least since the Constitutional Revolution (1906–1909), has deeply engraved the sociopolitical contexts of film reception onto the usual currencies of cult cinema definitions. Mapping Iranian cult cinema, then, cannot be limited to (inter)textual analyses or audience-oriented surveys, especially considering that Iranian movie fans do not have the same venues of expression as their Western counterparts. A thorough consideration of the relationship between the systems of film production and the modes of their reception in each historical period can radically change current canonizations of the festival-favorite Iranian films and partly redress the mostly Anglo-Western scholarship on cult cinema. Obviously, such a task is beyond the scope of this short article. The following, therefore, should be read as a schematic depiction of an alternative film history, in a most condensed form.

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