Egypt Cinematography

According to topmbadirectory, an independent state since 1922, the Egypt, while continuing to undergo British political and cultural domination for some decades, soon became a point of reference for Arab countries. He also took on a leading role in cinematography, which was the most consistent in the entire African continent and, more extensively, in the Near and Middle East. Already starting from the 1910s he had produced a very high number of films, which had a great impact on the public in the countries of the Arab world, through a system of stardom, a real star system that, for better or for worse, came to colonize the Arab audiovisual industry. Since the Thirties, Egyptian cinema has been characterized by some elements that have become, over time and with the necessary reinterpretations, signs of immediate recognition of the value of its art. But these unmistakable traits have also constituted, for many easy detractors, local and foreign, the limits of Egyptian cinema which has never denied its close link with popular traditions and with other arts, such as theater and music. In each of its historical and evolutionary phases, Egyptian cinema owes its success and strong impact on the public to attention, aimed both at reaching the highest number of spectators, and therefore at existing as a commercial product by adhering to almost immutable genres and codes. (comedy, musical, melodrama, in particular), both to welcome a large group of authors who, with different and original nuances, have written the most significant pages of a filmography with over three thousand titles. Here, then, is the birth of what has rightly been called the ‘ Hollywood on the Nile ‘or’ Hollywood of the East ‘, well supported, since 1935, by the Misr Studios (Miṣr is the Arabic name of Egypt). An institution that, especially in the golden period, from the thirties to the fifties, made possible the maximum development of the country’s cinema.

The beginnings

In the first two decades of the twentieth century the foundations were laid for the establishment of the cinema of Egypt. A cinematography strongly characterized by cultural contamination, thanks to the intervention of filmmakers from various backgrounds. In fact, already in its first phase, this cinematography was distinguished by a profound cosmopolitanism, the natural consequence of a historical reality that saw different communities, French, English, Greek, and so on, present in Cairo and Alexandria. The operators of the Lumière brothers brought the first exotic images from the West in 1896, and then filmed, with their unmistakable style, images of that territory (Place des consuls à Alexandrie, 1897); to them we owe the opening in 1897 of the first cinema. THE. it subsequently welcomed Italians, Palestinians, Germans, Turks and Russian Jews; in particular the photographers Aziz Bandarli and Umberto Dorès who shot La visite du khédivé Abbas Helmi II at the Institut scientifique de la mosque Sidi-Aboul-Abbas (1907). Ten years later, Dorès, who took over the direction of SITCIA (Italian Cinema Society of Alexandria), a company headed by the Banco di Roma, produced some works in Alessandria, including the medium-length film Šaraf al-badawī (1918, L’onore del Bedouin) by the filmmaker Osato, where Muhammad Karim first appeared as an actor, who later became one of the leading directors of Egyptian cinema of the time. 1923 was a year of particular historical significance, as Victor Rosito shot Fī bilād Tout Ankh Amon (In the Land of Tutankhamun), the first feature film entirely produced in Egypt, and Muhammad Bayyumi made an appearance. Considered the national pioneer of moving images, Bayyumi, who had been director of photography on Rosito’s film, founded the first film studio, Films Amon, in Cairo. In that year he began shooting the first newsreels, Journaux Amon, and one of them, Retour du leader Saad Zaghloul Pacha (also known as Accueil réservé par le peuple égyptien au leader Saad Zaghloul Pacha), shot on September 18, 1923, contributed to all effects at the birth of a national Egyptian cinema. Also in the 1920s, the foundations were laid for the future Misr film studios (characterized as an emanation of the Misr Bank, inaugurated in 1920 by the magnate Ṭal῾at Ḥarb) and for the Misr Society for theater and cinema (1925), at the which still bore the name of Bayyumi, who directed it in the first two years. Others were the filmmakers who helped to define in detail the start of Egyptian cinema: Alvise Orfanelli, Victor Stoloff, the Frenkel family at the forefront of animation; the Turkish Wedad Orfi who directed Layla (1927, together with Stéphane Rosti), a film dominated by the determination of the actress, producer and director Aziza Amir (he made his debut in 1929 with Bint al-Nīl, The Daughter of the Nile); the Palestinian Ibrahim Lama who made Qubla fī al-Ṣaḥarā᾽ (1927, A kiss in the desert,) and M. Karim who, with Zaynab (1930), made his first feature film. producer and director Aziza Amir (made her debut in 1929 with Bint al-Nīl, The Daughter of the Nile); the Palestinian Ibrahim Lama who made Qubla fī al-Ṣaḥarā᾽ (1927, A kiss in the desert,) and M. Karim who, with Zaynab (1930), made his first feature film. producer and director Aziza Amir (made her debut in 1929 with Bint al-Nīl, The Daughter of the Nile); the Palestinian Ibrahim Lama who made Qubla fī al-Ṣaḥarā᾽ (1927, A kiss in the desert,) and M. Karim who, with Zaynab (1930), made his first feature film.

Egypt Cinematography