Iranian Studies Book Launch: Bahram Beyzaie’s Cinema and Theatre

When and Where

Friday, June 07, 2024 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Online via Zoom


Saeed Talajooy, University of St. Andrews


The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies and the Canadian Society of Iranian and Persian Studies jointly present: Iranian Culture in Bahram Beyzaie’s Cinema and Theatre by Professor Saeed Talajooy (University of St. Andrews)

Since the beginning of his artistic career in 1959, Bahram Beyzaie’s oeuvre has incorporated various aspects of Iranian, Euro-American, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian performance traditions and cinema. Beyzaie’s work reformulates indigenous artistic and ritual forms and cultural narratives in plays and films whose emancipatory aesthetics have influenced several generations of writers, playwrights, and filmmakers. This book examines the origins and development of what the author identifies as Beyzaie’s unique sense of creativity, using an interdisciplinary method of semiotic and cultural analysis to identify its manifestations in Beyzaie’s films and plays of the 1960s and 1970s. It focusses on Beyzaie’s early works, such as Downpour and Uncle Moustache, and how they engage with neglected aspects of Iranian culture to challenge mainstream approaches to writing and directing plays and films. In this way, the author argues, Beyzaie’s work questions notions of being and belonging, by subverting exclusionist discourses on art, politics,society, culture, self and other, personal and collective identity, gender relations, intellectuals,heroes and villains, and children.

Saeed Talajooy is a Senior Lecturer in Persian at the University of St Andrews, UK. His publications include chapters and articles on Iranian theatre and cinema, a co-edited volume entitled Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Cultures: Literature, Cinema and Music (2012), a special issue of Iranian Studies on Bahram Beyzaie (2013), a monograph entitled Iranian Culture in Bahram Beyzaie’s Cinema and Theatre: Paradigms of Being and Belonging (I.B.Tauris, 2023) and an edited volume entitled The Plays and Films of Bahram Beyzaie: Origins, Forms and Functions (I.B.Tauris, 2024).

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