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Relaying Cinema in Mid-century Iran
November 19, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
Kaveh Askari is an associate professor in the film studies program at Michigan State University and author of Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood (BFI, 2014). He has co-edited four volumes of essays on film history including, most recently with Samhita Sunya, a special issue of Film History titled South by South/West Asia. His second monograph, Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran, is forthcoming from the University of California Press. Askari has held service positions with Domitor, the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival, and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. He has also collaborated on several film programs including “Tehran Noir: The Thrillers of Samuel Khachikian” for Il Cinema Ritrovato in 2017.
Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran (forthcoming, University of California Press) offers a transcultural history of cinema’s circulation. It draws from multi-sited archives of films, distributor memos, licensing contracts, advertising programs, and audio recordings. The talk will focus on the second chapter of the book, “Circulation Worries,” which tracks the work of those who worried over films, those who operated technologies of sound and image (especially dubbing technologies), and those engaged in the practical management of copyright. Focusing on a few high-profile moments of blockage, unprofitability, and physical reconfiguration of second-hand Hollywood studio prints, the talk redefines these seeming barriers to film circulation in Iran as examples of careful labors of engineering, maintenance, and repair.