Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity by Viola Shafik

By Viola Shafik

Because it used to be first released in 1998, Viola Shafik’s Arab Cinema: historical past and Cultural id has develop into an imperative paintings for students of movie and the modern heart East. Combining distinct narrative history—economic, ideological, and aesthetic—with thought-provoking research, Arab Cinema offers a complete evaluation of cinema within the Arab international, tracing the industry’s improvement from colonial instances to the current. It analyzes the ambiguous dating with advertisement western cinema, and the impact of Egyptian marketplace dominance within the sector. Tracing the impact at the medium of neighborhood and nearby paintings varieties and modes of notion, either classical and well known, Shafik indicates how indigenous and exterior components mix in a dynamic technique of “cultural repackaging.”

Now up-to-date to mirror cultural shifts within the final ten years of cinema, this revised variation includes a new afterword highlighting the most recent advancements in renowned movie and in cinéma d’auteur (art apartment movies), with a different concentrate on Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. whereas exploring frustrating matters resembling ecu co-production for Arab artwork movies, together with their relation to cultural identification and their reception within the quarter and overseas, this re-creation introduces readers to a few of the main compelling cinematic works of the decade.

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With the advent of sound, the Egyptian film industry started the commercial exploitation of popular Egyptian songs and singers whose music had already spread by radio and record all over the Arab world. 85 Beside the musical, two other genres, melodrama and farce, joined temporarily by adventure ('bedouin') films, led to the success of the Egyptian film industry. In general, early films contained an accumulation of comic situations and events, fairy tale stories in the style of the Arabian Nights, or sentimental and often unlucky love stories, which were mostly interspersed with music or dance.

Elia Suleiman attempts in his short fiction Homage by Assassination (1992) and his full-length feature Chronicle of a Disappearance (1997) to deconstruct Western and Arab discourses related to Palestinians. In Egypt since 1987, Coptic directors have started to direct religious feature films, most of which are produced by the Coptic Orthodox Church and a few by Protestant institutions. The majority of the sixteen such films made by the end of 1996 portray the lives and ordeals of Egyptian saints and martyrs.

Only Algerian organizations—the former ONCIC, the CAAIC, and the ENPA—turned out to be flexible. They coproduced two politically critical films by the Egyptian Youssef Chahine and various north- and black-African productions, including films by the two Tunisians Brahim Babai and Taieb Louhichi (Tayyib al-Wuhaishi). The Maghreb states, in particular Morocco, have many years of experience in coproduction. They have offered services mainly to foreign, primarily Western, producers and film makers. 139 In 1977, a new phase of coproduction started in Morocco with Blood Wedding (cUrs al-damm) by Souheil Ben Baraka, adapted from Garcia Lorca's drama.

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