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The influences of Ancient Iranian Zoroastrian Religion and Mythology on the Contemporary Iranian Cinema, 1970 – 2009 with a focus on Bahram Beizai

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The influences of Ancient Iranian Zoroastrian Religion and Mythology on the Contemporary Iranian Cinema, 1970 – 2009 with a focus on Bahram Beizai

Sadeghi, Morad (2012) The influences of Ancient Iranian Zoroastrian Religion and Mythology on the Contemporary Iranian Cinema, 1970 – 2009 with a focus on Bahram Beizai. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Abstract
Iranian Cinema: The influences of Ancient Iranian visual Art and Mythology on the Contemporary Iranian Cinema, 1970 – 2009 with a focus on Bahram Beizai

Morad Sadeghi
This thesis will examine the influences of ancient Iranian art and mythology on the contemporary Iranian cinema from 1970 – 2009, with an emphasis on Bahram Beizai's works. Postrevolutionary Iranian cinema has gained international audiences while the wave of Iranian cinema presented itself as a particularly legible form of escapism. By the late 1990s, indeed, cinema in Iran appeared to be flourishing, its remarkable transformation paralleling wider changes in Iranian culture and society. The study of cultural and the mythological influences on cinema in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) involves looking at cinema from a certain angle and taking into consideration the influences of ancient Iranian literature, painting, and architecture on the contemporary cinema without necessarily focusing too much on historical analysis of the films. I draw attention in my thesis to the presence and function of ancient culture in Iranian films, and the ways different filmmakers use it. The study of Iranian contemporary films with a focus on Beizai as prominent figure of the Iranian New Wave director lead us to apprehend a tension and counter point between Iranian postmodern and postrevolutionary society and the continuity of the myths and rituals in that society. The point of using ritual and myth, here in my thesis, is to achieve understanding and vision, accomplished through two means: metaphor and symbolism on the imagery of the Iranian ancient religion, Zoroastrian. However, one must know the entire ritual in order to see its structure and influence on Iranian postmodern art.
In my thesis, I will begin to explain how the culture of Zoroastrianism in Iran can be set in comparison to Islam. Also, the forms of myth and religion in Zoroastrianism will be focused on. In the 1990s Iranian film became one of the most celebrated national film traditions on the international circuit. Here, I am interested in film first as a kind of register and second as a descriptive medium of cultural patterns. I am also interested in film as a complex vehicle of cultural critique. I will emphasize how film has become like a parable and a discourse with literature, the traditional painting, the epic traditions of ethical and moral reason, and the ancient Iranian architecture. In order to shed light on the influences of ancient Iranian art on the contemporary cinema of directors like Beizai, one has to inquire about the parables and mythical stories of the Shahnameh. My thesis forms part of a larger project to map out in some mythological detail the competing rhetoric in Iran, and by so doing, to contribute to a theory of culture that is dynamic, that illuminates historical and political – economic realities, and is sensitive to the hermeneutics of cultural rhetoric as seen from the inside. In my thesis, the written analyses of a series of films will focus in turn on the intelligentsia’s dilemmas of locating themselves between East and West, between Zoroastrianism and Islam, and between past and present. These films take as their central subjects the confusions resulting from the contradictory intertwining of pre – Islamic and Islamic heritage. The inability to escape into modernity, to be free from the legacy of the past, and to change the corrupt present by revolution are the main discourses of Iranian intellectuals’ films before and after the revolution.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Sadeghi, Morad
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:15 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Rist, Peter
ID Code:974868
Deposited By:MORAD SADEGHI
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 10:43
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 10:43
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