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Tehran City Symphonies: The Sounds of Conflicted Modernities, Silent Spaces and Highway Pleasures

Nooshin, L. ORCID: 0000-0001-8737-5224 & Salavati, K. (2023). Tehran City Symphonies: The Sounds of Conflicted Modernities, Silent Spaces and Highway Pleasures. In: Ghorbankarimi, M., Langford, M. & Khosroshah, Z. (Eds.), The I.B.Tauris Handbook of Iranian Cinema. . Bloomsbury.


The ‘city symphony’ (or ‘city poem’, sometimes just ‘city film’) is a particular kind of avant-garde/experimental film that emerged in the period following World War I, primarily in Europe and North America. Born out of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, and the ensuing social changes that marked this period, these films have attracted a great deal of scholarly and journalistic attention, including much discussion over whether the city symphony can be considered a genre in its own right. City symphonies drew on elements from experimental, narrative and newly emerging documentary film, as well as the wider artistic movements of the time. This chapter explore a number of short films made in the city symphony style about Tehran, the capital city of Iran, with a focus on the films Tehran 51 (1972, Khosrow Parvizi), Burial (2015, Pouya Moradi), Tehran, Closed City (2020, Hashem Shakeri) and Tehran, City Symphony (2020 Kiana Ahmadi and Aydin Karimi). We are particularly interested in the role of music and sound more broadly in these films, and in how sound can become a structuring device for films that lack a strong narrative. We explore a number of themes, including often conflicted notions of urban modernity.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This chapter has been accepted for publication by Bloomsbury.
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts
[thumbnail of Copy for CRO. 17.3.23. Laudan Nooshin and Kamyar Salavati, Chapter for Langford and Ghorbankarimi docx.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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