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New Iranian Horror: Theorizing an Emerging Trend in Iranian Cinema
April 22, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
Farshid Kazemi. Simon Fraser Universiy
Farshid Kazemi is Sessional Lecturer at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. He holds a PhD in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on Iranian Cinema and Psychoanalysis. His research interests combine an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to Film and Media Studies, Iranian Studies, and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. His work has appeared in academic journals such as Camera Obscura, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and Iranian Studies. His book A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2021) is published by Liverpool University Press.
There is a notable shift in the films that are emerging from Iran today from the art-house films of the New Iranian Cinema that used to populate and dominate international film festivals with directors such as Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, Panahi, Rasoulof, Bani-Etemad, Ghobadi, etc. Indeed, it is in this band of New Iranian Horror films where a visible shift can be detected between the New Iranian Cinema of the mid 1990s and 2000s, with its unique style and recognizable conventions and these emerging films. In this presentation, I will delineate a group of films that have emerged in the aftermath of the 2009 mass protests in Tehran that deploy certain conventions of the horror genre as a politically subversive critique of the claustrophobic, terrifying, and paranoiac atmosphere of post-2009 Iranian society, by theorizing the rise of a New Iranian Horror cinema that has appeared in the transnational circuitry from 2009 to the present.