Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and Beyond

By Walter Armbrust | Go to book overview

TWELVE
American Ambassador
in Technicolor and Cinemascope

Hollywood and Revolution on the Nile
Robert Vitalis

COMING ATTRACTION

In May 1957 representatives of two of the largest American multinationals in Egypt called at the U. S. embassy. The visitors were by then a familiar sight at the tree-lined grounds of Qasr al-Dubbara, because companies such as Metro-Goldywn-Mayer (MGM) and Twentieth Century-Fox, among other U. S. firms, were being saddled with new costs to doing business in their largest Middle East market.

The Egyptian economy had been on war footing since the Israeli attack on Port Said in November 1956. President Gamal Abdel Nasser had unleashed a punitive wave of expropriations against the French and British nationals who were the backbone of the foreign private sector. Controls on foreign-exchange remittances were tighter than at any time since World War II. Meanwhile, the populist policy currents associated with the March 1954 crisis and the Bandung conference in April 1955 grew stronger in the wake of the war. In the case of motion pictures, for the first time authorities passed specific legislation, in place of a long-standing informal or “gentlemen's agreement, ” requiring all theater owners to screen three locally produced films per year (Law No. 373, Official Gazette 88, November 3, 1956). The war, which led to a surge of arrests, internments, and deportations, also licensed the stepped-up stereotypes of Jewish control of the film industry and Hollywood's and the Egyptian-Jewish business community's financing of Israeli colonization. 1

Though lobbying by the U. S. embassy and U. S. firms had gained American big business virtually complete exemption from the 1957 Egyptianization decrees, Hollywood on the Nile was anticipating a new wave of institutional and fiscal measures by the state aimed at reorienting Egypt's cultural

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Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and Beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note on Transliteration xi
  • One - Anxieties of Scale 1
  • Notes *
  • Two - Creating Arab/american Identities in a Transnational Domain 32
  • Notes *
  • Three - Persian Popular Music from Bazm-E Qajariyyeh to Beverly Hills Garden Parties 61
  • Notes *
  • Four - Transgender Pop and the Polysemiotics of Sex, Nation, and Ethnicity on the Israeli-Egyptian Border 88
  • Notes *
  • Five - Local Egyptian Performers Between Regional Identity and International Markets 120
  • Notes *
  • Six - Moroccan Music and Euro-American Imagination 146
  • Notes *
  • Seven - Reimaging Egypt's Lost Community 161
  • Notes 179
  • Eight - Public Culture and the Construction of Social Identity 182
  • Notes *
  • Nine - Mediating Modernity in Lahore 203
  • Notes *
  • Ten - Realism and the Transnational Imaginary in Turkish Popular Culture 224
  • Notes *
  • Eleven - The Egyptian Print Media's Carnival of National Identity 243
  • Notes *
  • Twelve - Hollywood and Revolution on the Nile 269
  • Notes *
  • Thirteen - Commercial Egyptian Cinema Before the 1960s 292
  • Notes *
  • References 329
  • Contributors 355
  • Index 359
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