“Bu Kino Çox Gözal”
Cinema of Azerbaijan

January 24 - February 2 2014

Bu Kino Çox Gözal,organized by Pera Film in collaboration with The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), presents a selection of 8 films exploring Azerbaijani cinematic history.

Shortly after the Lumière brothers from France invented and patented the Cinematographe in 1895, the French entrepreneur, photographer and cameraman Alexandre Michon, who had been actively involved in documenting oil fields in Baku since 1879, started filming moving images portraying the city. He shot his first film in 1898, which was an actualité entitled The Oil Gush Fire in Bibiheybat.

The film industry in Azerbaijan significantly developed after the Belgian Pirone brothers came to Baku and founded a joint-stock company, Filma, in 1915. They also established film distribution offices in Baku, Yerevan and Tbilisi, and invited the Russian director and film producer Boris Svetlov, who directed and produced several films, some of which later became very well-known. In 1915, with the financial support from oil barons of Baku, Svetlov directed the first full-length feature film in Azerbaijani cinema – In the realm of oil and millions, which was remade by Fikrat Aliyev in 1980 as Abyss of gold. A year later, Svetlov directed the first musical comedy, albeit as a silent film, based on Arshin mal alan by Uzeir Hajibeyov, with the well-known themes being played by a piano accompanist. At this time, it was the convention for male actors to play female roles. Years later, in 1945, the film was remade with sound and female actors, becoming one of the most popular Azerbaijani films of all.

In general, pre-Soviet films in Azerbaijan mostly focused on the lives of laborers, oil fields and revolution. Once Soviet power was established in 1920, Azerbaijan SSR decided to nationalize its cinema. In 1922, the first cinema studio was founded, which was renamed as the Azerbaijan Photo-Film Department a year later. During this period, the most famous and beloved films were musical comedies. Remaking Svetlov’s Arshin mal alan in 1945 (also in 1965) popularized this genre, and over the years films like Rendezvous (1955), Bakhtiyar (1955), If not this, then that (1965), Where is Ahmad? (1964) and Mother-in-law (1978) were made.

After regaining its independence in 1991, Azerbaijani cinema entered a new era. Since the early 1990s, the country has directed a growing portion of the revenue it derives from massive oil and natural gas reserves toward cultural projects, with astonishing results. And now, since the creation of the Azerbaijan Film Commission in 2010, it is starting to turn its attention back to cinema. Despite the fact that the comedy genre retained its popularity (Lucky Ring, 1991;, Hungry Dupes, 1993 etc.), more serious issues were also addressed. Over 1000 films have been made since 1990. In the last five or six years, new cinemas were opened and existing cinemas were renovated in Baku, encouraging public interest in cinema. Azerbaijani cinema has a very bright history, featuring talented actors and film directors, and with the necessary attention and financing, the Azerbaijani film industry is destined to develop and become known more widely.

In collaboration

January 24

17:00 Buta

19:00 40th Door

January 25

14:00 Chovkan

14:00 Steppe Man

16:00 The Cloth Peddler

January 29

19:00 Chovkan

19:00 Steppe Man

January 30

17:00 Fortress

19:00 Holy Animal

January 31

17:00 40th Door

19:00 Fortress

February 1

14:00 Holy Animal

16:00 Buta

18:00 The Bat

February 2

14:00 The Bat

16:00 The Cloth Peddler

The Cloth Peddler

The Cloth Peddler

The Bat

The Bat

Buta

Buta

Fortress

Fortress

Holy Animal

Holy Animal

40th Door

40th Door

Chovkan

Chovkan

Steppe Man

Steppe Man

“Bu Kino Çox Gözal”
Cinema of Azerbaijan

Bu Kino Çox Gözal,organized by Pera Film in collaboration with The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), presents a selection of 8 films exploring Azerbaijani cinematic history.

The Search for Form

The Search for Form

A series of small and rather similar nudes Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and Eren Eyüboğlu produced in the early 1930s almost resemble a ‘visual conversation’ that focus on a pictorial search. It is also possible to find the visual reflections of this earlier search in the synthesis Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu reached with his stylistic abstractions in the 1950s.

Midnight Horror Stories:  The Moon Pool

Midnight Horror Stories: The Moon Pool

Pera Museum Blog is launching a new series of creepy stories in collaboration with Turkey’s Fantasy and Science Fiction Arts Association (FABISAD). The Association’s member writers are presenting newly commissioned short horror stories inspired by the artworks of Mario Prassinos as part of the Museum’s In Pursuit of an Artist: Istanbul-Paris-Istanbul exhibition. The fourth story is by Işın Beril Tetik! The stories will be published online throughout the exhibition. Stay tuned!

Journey to the East

Journey to the East

Pera Museum presents an exhibition of French artist Félix Ziem, one of the most original landscape painters of the 19th century. This week we are sharing Ziem’s work inspired by Istanbul and “the East”!