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Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future Paperback – November 17, 2001

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Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future + The New Iranian Cinema: Politics, Representation and Identity + Abbas Kiarostami (Contemporary Film Directors)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (November 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859843328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859843321
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 7.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Hamid Dabashi’s learned book on Iranian cinema in the era of globalization sparkles with verve and a sometimes punishing wit. Encyclopedic in scope, informal in tone, shrewd in its interpretation, it is the indispensable work on one of the most extraordinary artistic and social adventures of our time. Dabashi is the perfect guide.”—Edward W. Said

“With Hamid Dabashi’s new book, we finally have a reading of the post-Revolutionary Iranian cinema from within Iranian culture and society. Dabashi traces the deep roots of the work of filmmakers such as Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Rakshan Bani-Etemad, and shows how their work opens up a fascinating and far-reaching interrogation of contemporary cultural production.”—Richard Peña

“A better understanding of Iranian cinema needed someone as much aware of its global significance as knowledgeable of its immediate social roots—Hamid Dabashi is one of those rare cultural critics who has been able to add such a perspective.”—Mohsen Makhmalbaf

About the Author

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the founder of Dreams of a Nation: A Palestinian Film Project, committed to the preservation and dissemination of Palestinian cinema. His Close Up: Iranian Cinema: Past, Present and Future is also published by Verso.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonaid Sharif on November 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful reading with lots of detailed commentary and interviews. This is a great book about the vibrant Iranian cinema both in depth and in scope.
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What makes this survey of Iranian film so entertaining is the scope he gives to incorporating personal, anecdotal material. This is not a dry account about what makes Iranian theatre so dynamic and interesting - it's also a story about the hilarious schemes that Hamid undertakes as a child, in his quest to discover more about movies. There's an energetic, cheeky tone to the first chapter of this book that drew me in immediately; watch out for his fabulous account of his attempts to make a slide projector, and nearly burn the family house down! There's also a story about the outdoor cinema and the local kids methods for circumventing admission fees, by selling "seats" in the boughs of trees.

On the whole, Hamid's prose style is very satisfying, particularly when he's summarising the plots of various films, and when translating the poetry of Sepehri. It is at its weakest when he resorts to the jargon of the "cultural studies" lexicon, exemplified in sentences such as "Art denatures and dethematises reality so that precisely its culturation and thematisation become self-evident." Does this mean "art deconstructs in order to reconstruct?"

In any case, Hamid Dabashi's acount of Iranian cinema is a gift for anyone seeking to understand the historical, political and social contexts of movies. I was fascinated with the interviews, particularly as directors discussed the challenges they needed to overcome in order to conform with post-Revolutionary censorship requirements.

Highly recommended, Alison Q.
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