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The Cinematic City: Between Modernist Utopia and Postmodernist Dystopia

Author(s): NEZAR ALSAYYAD


Source: Built Environment (1978-), Vol. 26, No. 4, Cinema and the City (2000), pp. 268-281
Published by: Alexandrine Press
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The Cinematic
City:
Between Modernist
Utopia
and Postmodernist
Dystopia
NEZAR ALSAYYAD
It is
argued
in this
paper
that our
understanding of
the
city
cannot be viewed
independently of
the cinematic
experience. Jean
Baudrillard
accepts
the
duality
between the real
city
and the reel
city,
but he
suggests moving
in one direction
-
from
the screen to the
city.
However,
an
understanding of
this
relationship
comes not
from starting from
one and
moving
to the
other,
but in
doing
both
simultaneously.
The
relationship
between the
city
and the
cinema,
although
less than a
century
old,
is
a formidable one. The
images
and sounds
of the
city
found in movies are
perhaps
the
only experiences
that
many
of the world's
residents ever realize of cities
they
have not
been to and
may
never do. Film
captures
the mentalite of
society (Schlesinger,
1979,
p.
xi), disclosing
much about its inner as well
as outer life. Movies influence the
way
we
construct
images
of the world and accord
ingly,
in
many
instances,
how we
operate
within it.
Jean
Baudrillard once
argued
that the
city
seems to have
stepped
out of the
movies,
To
grasp
its
secret,
you
should not then
begin
with the
city
and move inwards
towards a
screen,
you
should
begin
with a
screen and move outwards toward the
city'
(Baudrillard, 1988).
If one were to
accept
this
premise,
then cinematic
technique
and
cinematic
representation
of the
city
over
time should reveal much about both urban
theory
and the urban condition. Has this
really
been the case? Or have our theories
and
experience
of
modernity
and
post
modernity
instead influenced and
possibly
limited the
way
we view the cinematic
city.
To examine this
proposition,
I
plan
in this
paper
to follow Baudrillard's advice. I will
start
by looking
at a select
group
of well
known films in a more or less
chronological
order,
in an
attempt
to define the cinematic
modernist
city.
In
doing
so,
I will view the
cinematic
city through
the lens of urbani
zation,
and the
figures
of a
rising urbanity.
I shall also focus on modernism's
Utopian
aspirations.
I will then move to review
another
group
of
films, which,
at least for
me,
highlight
a break with this
modernity.
I
will
try
to
decipher
from them notions about
a cinematic
postmodern
urbanism that can
be linked to the discourses of
postmodern
urban
space.
Images
are defined
by
the Oxford
English
Dictionary
as a
likeness,
a mental
impres
sion or
picture,
a vivid or
graphic
des
cription,
or a
metaphor.
As
such,
images
shape
our
understanding
of,
and reactions
to what is
depicted. Images
act as mental
reminders,
cognitive maps, suggestive
im
positions
and creative
projections (Suttles,
1972).
The
city
itself is a 'social
image'
which has been studied in various disci
plines
like
literature,
sociology, geography,
anthropology
and
many
others
(Pike, 1980;
Park and
Burgess, 1925).
The links between the 'real'
city
and the
268 BUILT ENVIRONMENT VOL 26 NO 4
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THE CINEMATIC CITY: BETWEEN MODERNIST UTOPIA AND POSTMODERNIST DYSTOPIA
'reel'
city
are indirect and
complex (Aitken
and
Zonn, 1994,
p.
5; Muzzio, 1996,
p.
194).
Commentators on
contemporary
culture and
society
note a
convergence
between what is
real in the
everyday
and how we
image
the
everyday.
Baudrillard
(1988)
argues
that
contemporary society
knows itself un
reflexively, only through
the reflections that
flow from the camera's
eye
(Aitken
and
Zonn, 1994,
p. 7).
Film is
always
selective and
partial,
thereby enabling
it to
produce
a
variety
of
meanings
for the same
image
and for this
image
to be viewed
very differently by
dif
ferent audiences in different
places
at differ
ent times. To understand
conceptually
the
relation between the cinema and the
city,
I
shall focus on the axes of
Modernism/
Postmodernism and
Utopia/Dystopia.
Rather
than
employing
these
concepts
as
dualistic,
I
will
emphasize
the
ways
in which their
mutually interdependent
status sheds
light
on the
meanings
and
practices
of the
cinematic
city.
The Cinematic Modernist
City
The cinematic modernist
city
makes its
appearance
in several cinematic creations
of the
early
twentieth
century.
Berlin:
Symphony of
a Great
City (1927)
is
amongst
the first
depictions
of a
rising modernity
in
early
film. Created
by
German director
Walther
Ruttman,
the film documents a
typical day
in the life of the
city
in 1927.
This seminal film
provides
a 'reminder that
. . .
place
and cinematic
space, though
in a
relationship
to each
other, [at
the same
time]
belong
to different orders'. Berlin is an
important
film that
belongs
to the modernist
avant
garde,
and one that makes the
depiction
of urban
space
and street life its
central focus
(Natter, 1994,
p. 204).
It also
reminds us that 'the
general precondition
for an
assemblage
of
disparate images being
viewed as
having
narrative
meaning',
as
is the case with
cinema,
is the 'stabilization
of
any
number of
possibly imaginable
symbolic spatialities
into one'
(Natter, 1994,
p. 203).
Cinema as a form of
writing
is an
appropriate analogy
for Berlin as a
repre
sentation of
place.
The character most
easily
associated with
this
experience
of
modernity
is the
flaneur
(Wilson, 1991,
p. 61).
Secure in his distance
from the scenes he observes and
empowered
by
his
ability
to
penetrate
the
'labyrinthine'
spaces (Williams, 1973,
p. 227)
of the
city,
he
weaves an
inevitably
modernist narrative.
The arrival of the cinema has meant the
return of
flanerie,
as in
wandering
around
the
city-spectacle, suggesting
'the confluence
of "a
privileged
mode of
specularity
and its
newest mode of
recording'", namely
cinema
(Natter, 1994,
pp. 204-208).
The
flaneur
is
typified by
the camera in Berlin.
Although
we start with an Archimedean view of the
city,
we move
quickly
to the
train,
then the
car and then the
shop
windows,
etc.
Indeed,
the street scenes in Berlin are all
presented
with a Baudelairian flair. The film has been
critiqued by
some as a selective
representa
tion of the
city
at that time since 'various
contemporaries recognized enough
of "their"
Berlin in Rutmann's film to
decry
the
absence of those other
parts
that "should"
have been included. Where are Berlin's
department
stores,
the
dwellings
of
workers,
or the "real lives of the
city's
inhabitants?'
(Natter, 1994,
p. 215).
Rutmann's film stressed the dramatic
acceleration of the
pace
of life in the
city
as
compared
to the
countryside.
He also drew
attention to the interconnectedness of
places
within the
city
via networks of trans
portation,
communication, circulation,
and
exchange.
The street itself became one such
site,
connecting places,
events,
and activities
and
providing
a
dynamic,
collective under
standing
of
place (Natter, 1994,
p. 218).
Metropolis (1926)
was another
important
film of
early modernity.
Also,
Fritz
Lang's
film was the first futuristic movie to be
shot on a studio set.
Lang's imaginary city,
Metropolis,
made the social division between
an idle
aristocracy
and dehumanized
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CINEMA AND THE CITY
labourers
quite
literal
(Leigh
and
Kenny,
1996,
p.
52).
The
city
of the labourers
lay
deep underground
with its excessive
machinery
and
Taylorist
time
management
apparatus,
while the industrialists
occupied
a sunlit
landscape
of
towering skyscrapers.
When
Metropolis
was first screened it
unsettled the nascent movie
industry.
Here
was a film with a
political
outlook,
one that
was
socialist,
anti-capitalist
and anti-urban
in
nature,
able at the same time to be anti
Nazi and anti-Fascist.
Metropolis
dealt with a
large
number of
(not
only
urban)
issues that had
contemporary
relevance to a broad audience. Problems
pertaining
to the urban
poor
and social
unrest,
generational
conflicts,
vices and
virtues of
technology,
and
contemporary
doubts about the
redeeming power
of
religions,
were all
incorporated
into its
narrative. The film was
predominantly
concerned with the
city
itself,
and Fritz
Lang
admitted that his interest in the visual
imagery
of the film had been based on his
initial fascination with the
skyscrapers
of
New York which he saw for the first time in
1924 on his first
trip
there
(Neumann, 1996,
p. 34).
The
city
of the elite in
Metropolis,
was
also reflective of
many people's
shared
fascination with the
skyscraper
as an icon of
modernity (Neumann, 1996,
p.
35).
According
to Gold
(1985, p. 125),
the
treatment of the future
city
needs to be seen
in the
light
of the cinema's treatment of the
city
in
general. Throughout
its
history,
the
cinema has shared that intellectual bias
against
the
city
that has marked
contemporary
literature and the
arts,
and
espoused
the
widely
held view that
large
cities are
alienating
and hostile
places (Gold, 1985,
p.
125).
Oswald
Spengler's
anti-urban
notion,
where he likens the
city
to a
man-eating
monster
(Neumann, 1996,
p. 34)
can also be
applied
to
Lang's portrayal
of the
spatial
layers
of the
underground city.
In Gold's
words,
'Metropolis
was less a
prediction
of
the world of 2000 AD than it was a model of
the 1920s scaled
up
to
nightmare propor
tions and overlain with a
pastiche
of the
latest that New York could offer'
(Gold,
1985,
p. 141). Inevitably, Hollywood
had to
respond
to this bleak vision of urban modern
ity. fust Imagine
(1930)
was a less futuristic
film that
attempted
to
present
the
flip
side of
Lang's chilling
urban vision. Produced
by
Fox,
it was a musical
comedy
that featured a
skyline
in the
shape
of
ever-rising
stock
charts
(Butler
in
Albrecht, 1996,
p. 39).
Charlie
Chaplin's
Modern Times
(1936)
satirized
factory
conditions in the
city
and
extended the work-slave
imagery
of
Lang
to
the entire modern
industrial,
economic and
even social
system.
The dominant
system
that
Chaplin
criticized was
Taylorism.
Under
F.W.
Taylor's management system (devised
in
1911),
factories were
managed through
a
management
method whose fundamental
premise
was that industrial work could be
performed
more
economically by
a division
of
labour,
combined with a 'scientific' time
motion control.
Here,
the
manufacturing
process
was broken down to a
single
act that
a
particular
worker
repeated
over and over
in the course of a
workday. Chaplin's
criticism of
Taylorism
seems to be that it
dehumanizes workers and reduces their
function to mechanical tasks that need no
humanity.
The
Taylorist
method allocated
work,
specifying
not
only
what is to be done
but how it is to be done and the exact time
allowed for
doing
it,
leaving
no room for the
individual worker to
develop
or innovate
The issues that these films raise have to
be looked
upon
in the context of
Utopian
and
dystopian
ideas about the
city
and
countryside
both in America and
Europe.
In
fact,
for
many people
and cultures
par
ticularly
in
early
US
history
and nineteenth
century England,
cities were
dirty,
un
healthy, dangerous
and even immoral
places
(Muzzio, 1996,
p. 190). Many
of America's
best known thinkers like
Jefferson, Poe,
Hawthorne,
Emerson and even architects
such as Frank
Lloyd Wright expressed great
hostility
toward the
city
and urban life in
general (Greer, 1964).
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THE CINEMATIC CITY: BETWEEN MODERNIST UTOPIA AND POSTMODERNIST DYSTOPIA
The
mid-nineteenth-century
notion of the
'Age
of the Great Cities'
(Williams, 1973,
p.
217),
where cities and their inhabitants were
seen in terms of their
novelty
and
oppo
sition to rural
dwellers,
emphasized
the
paradoxes
of the urban
experience.
In the
writings
about
nineteenth-century
London
by
such
contemporary
novelists as Charles
Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell there is a
sense that in the
very place
and
agency
of
collective consciousness
-
the
city
-
there is
an absence of collective
feeling (Williams,
1973,
p. 215).
What
emerged
was a dichotomous
image
not
only
between
city
and
country,
but also
between different
parts
of the same
city:
the
city
of affluence and
capital
and the
city
of
the
working poor.
The East End London of
darkness,
oppression
and crime could be
contrasted with the
gas-lit opulence
of a
new and
improved
West End. In
many
minds,
the sense of 'the
great city'
was so
overwhelming
that its residents were
collectively
seen as a
crowd,
a mass or a
'workforce'
(Williams, 1973,
p. 222).
Throughout
the nineteenth
century
the
city
versus
country
debate
raged, drawing
upon
the romantic tradition of the
pastoral
(Wilson, 1991,
p.
27).
Defenders of the new
industrial urban order
equated
the urban
with the artistic as well as the domestic
(Wilson, 1991,
p. 28).
To these
defenders,
the industrial
city emancipated
the
working
class and allowed women the
opportunity
to
uphold
and contribute to
bourgeois
domestic ideals. At the same
time,
given
the
overcrowding
of
cities,
many
reformers
tried to
bring
the
country
to the
city
(Wilson, 1991,
p. 29). Many
believed that
the ideal antidote to the horrors of the
city
was a
quasi-rural/suburban
retreat,
accompanied by
the withdrawal of women
from commerce and other
employment.
Early nineteenth-century Utopia
Victoriana
was a
utopia (u-topos, no-place/eu-topia,
good place/ude-topia,
never-land)
of a
rosy
future where Victorian
family
values were
preserved
and held
together by
saccharine
sweet male-female relations.
Bellamy's
Looking
Backward
(1887)
was a
portrayal
of
such a vision.
Although
this does not con
tinue
unchanged
from the late nineteenth
century,
that vision
reappears
in
post
World
War II
America,
and was
depicted
in films
like It's A
Wonderful Life (1946).
Central to the
urban/suburban
discussion is the role that
women were
supposed
to
play.
The middle
class woman
presided
over a semi-rural
(suburban) retreat,
which was the antidote
of the
noisy,
crowded
city
that her husband
negotiated
each
day (Wilson,
1991,
p.
45).
Since there is no
Utopian city
without a
dystopian
vision,
positive
and
negative
images
of the
city
in film are
inextricably
intertwined. As is
obvious,
Utopias,
when
pushed
to their
logical
conclusion,
become
dystopic
and,
conversely,
all
dystopias
have
embedded in them a
Utopian
dream.
Hence,
the modern
city
could not
possibly
be viewed
and understood without the embedded
traditions that it seems to have
unsettled,
and a
postmodern
urbanism is
only possible
as a reaction to or a
rejection
of an en
trenched
socially
conscious
modernity.
A
postmodern rejection
of the state's
modernist
experience appears
in
Terry
Gilliam's
complex
film,
Brazil
(1985).
Brazil
is a futuristic film in which the
protagonist
Sam
Lowrey
is
part
of a bureaucratic
apparatus
that runs an urban settlement. He
relies
primarily
on his fantasies for
escape
from his
dreary daily
routine. Within the
bureaucracy
that
Lowrey
works
for,
upward
mobility through
the ranks is
widely
espoused
as a
goal.
The
city
he lives in is
manifest with elements of
panopticonic
surveillance
by
an
extremely
bureaucratic
central
authority.
Here we
may
benefit from
Foucault's notion of the
panopticon,
a
device
by
which a central
authority
watches
its
subjects,
and a constant awareness of
being
watched causes these
subjects
to
regulate
their behaviour. Bentham's
original
design
for the
panopticon may
have been
inspired by
Le Vaux's
menagerie
at Ver
sailles
(Foucault,
in
Leach, 1997,
p. 361);
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CINEMA AND THE CITY
concerned with
individualizing
observation,
with characterization and
classification,
with
the
analytical arrangement
of
space.
It was
also,
'a
laboratory;
it could be used as a
machine to
carry
out
experiments,
to alter
behaviour,
to train or correct individuals'
(Foucault,
in
Leach, 1997,
p. 361).
In a
modernist
Utopia
with a Fordist
economy,
state
sponsored
services
required
or resulted
in total control of the inhabitants
by
the
state. The
city
in
Brazil,
spatially
reminiscent
of
public housing projects,
is a Fordist
dystopia
where the services are inefficient
and
cumbersome,
and state control is
panoptic.
Sam
Lowrey's
dream world on
the other
hand,
is one of
billowing
clouds
and the
rolling green
hills of a
pastoral
landscape.
In
short,
hope
(or
a
negative
Utopia),
translates into
finding
somewhere
better to
go.
The
city categorically,
is not a
desirable
place
to live and the
preferred
alternative would be closer to nature.
Another view of the
modernity
of sur
veillance is
depicted
in Hitchcock's Rear
Window
(1954).
The
protagonist
L.B.
'Jeff'
Jeffries
(played by Jimmy
Stewart)
is a
voyeur (Wilson, 1991,
p.
73)
by
dint of an
injured leg,
who
engages
in the act of
watching
his
neighbours
in a
city apartment
block. In the
process,
he
begins
to
suspect
that one of them
may
have murdered his
wife. The
voyeur
sinks into a
private
realm
exposing
the
dystopic qualities
of
clearly
demarcated modernist
boundaries,
in a
sense
setting
the
stage
for the
panopticonic
surveillance of Brazil.
A different
type
of an American mod
ernity antagonistic
to the
city
can be seen in
It's a
Wonderful Life (1946),
which remains an
enduring
icon of American culture. In the
film,
the
protagonist George Bailey (also
played by Jimmy
Stewart)
is
part
of a small
town
community
called Bedford Falls. This
very Utopian
town is contrasted in a
night
mare
sequence
where the idealized Middle
American small town is
supplanted by
the
wild urban world of Pottersville: a
dystopic
city
centred around a neon lit Main Street of
strip joints, pawnshops
and bars. This is a
commercialized,
capitalized
and
vulgarized
world. In this
film,
resolution comes when
George Bailey regains
his
rightful place
in his
small town
community, thereby typifying
a
Utopian
ideal of the townsman. This anti
urban sentiment is
again
echoed in the film
Batman
(1989)
when the
Joker
says
of Gotham
City,
'Decent
people
should not live here.
They'd
be
happier
somewhere else'
(tran
scribed from
movie) (Muzzio, 1996,
p.
190).
In the
1960s,
a
general
disenchantment
with modernist cities sets in. This
negative
perception
was aided
by
the ills
wrought by
the urban renewal
project,
whether in the
United States or in
Europe.
The demolition
of
large parts
of traditional old cores and
their
replacement
with
faceless, uniform,
urban blocks of
public,
council
housing
facilitated the
emergence
of a
cynical
atti
tude towards
modernity
and started another
phase
in the cinematic modern
city.
We can
see this in two films
by
France's most
recognized
film maker and critic of this
period
of
modernity.
In Mon Oncle
(1958),
Monsieur
Hulot,
the
principal protagonist
in
Jacques
Tati's
City
of
Modernity,
continues to live in the tradi
tional romantic
city
block while
everything
around him is
changing.
Hulot's brother-in
law runs a
plastics company
and lives in an
impractical
modern Cubist house. The
story
revolves round the clash of two
worlds,
the
old and the
new,
or Hulot versus
Arpel,
with
Gerard,
the little
boy
(Tati's
nephew)
providing
the link
(Penz, 1997).
The uni
formity
of
modernity
is
critically
assessed in
this
film,
in
sharp
contrast to a film like The
Fountainhead,
the seminal cinematic
depiction
of the architect as
God,
unchallenged
in his
modernist vision. Tati's was one of the first
subtle
critiques
of the
marriage
between
urban renewal as a
policy
(in
this case in
France),
and modernism as an architectural
ideology
that created the banal modern
city.
Subsequently,
Tati
gave
us
Playtime
(1966),
a
very significant
architectural theme
movie. Here
again
the
protagonist
Hulot,
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THE CINEMATIC CITY: BETWEEN MODERNIST UTOPIA AND POSTMODERNIST DYSTOPIA
now a businessman
visiting
Paris,
crosses
paths
with a busload of American tourists.
The tourists
get
lost
amongst
the uniform
clusters of modern
buildings
and
spaces
and
Hulot himself cannot find the man he came
to
see,
in this
transparent
maze. Tati built a
set with movable
skyscrapers
to make his
point
that Paris is not Paris
anymore,
it is
part
of an
anonymous
urban
edge.
The
principal
character in this narrative of
cynical modernity
is also the camera
lens,
a
blase
(Simmel,
in
Leach, 1997,
p. 73),
critical
of what he
sees,
amused
though
distant.
Tati is a chronicler
(a witness)
and critic of
the architecture of the
post-war period,
and
as
importantly,
a humorous observer of its
effect on the culture and on the individual
(Penz, 1997).
The
only
time we see distin
guishable
Parisian monuments or elements
in
Playtime,
is when a
glass
door
opens
to
display
the Eiffel Tower in
ephemeral
reflection. The residents of Tativille
(Tati's
suburb)
are
portrayed
as
living
on
top
of
one
another,
occupying glass-like
boxes,
watching television(s)
in an
apartment
building
that itself resembles a stack of
television sets in a store window.
What then is cinematic modernism? If
one were to
conceptualize
these films
along
a
single
linear axis of historical
periods,
three
particularly
distinct
experiences
stand
out. The first is a Baudelairian
experience
that revels in
modernity despite
all its
oppressions
and
hardships; bathing
the self
in the crowded
city (Paris)
and
enjoying
its
spectacle
are its elements
(Berman, 1982,
p.
131-171).
The
flaneur
is the
principal figure
of this
modernity:
he walks the streets
weaving
a
descriptive
narrative of the
city.
We can see this in the encounter between
the camera and the street scenes in
Berlin-,
the camera is the
flaneur.
We can also see it
in the encounter between the rich and
poor
in the
spaces
of
Metropolis.
The modernist
urban encounter meant a
coming together
of
the rich and the
poor,
who
acknowledge
one
another even
though they
do not
engage
one
another within the same
space.
A second
experience
is that of an
industrial,
Taylorist modernity
where techno
centric tendencies
abound,
that turn the
city
into
dystopia, again
as
depicted
in
Metropolis
(1926)
and Modern Times.
Taylorism,
ac
companied by
Fordism meant increased
provision
of services
by
the
state,
but also an
increase in control
by
it. An obvious result is
the
emergence
of the
panopticon
as an
interpretive
tool of a mid
modernity
as
evidenced in a film like Brazil
(1985).
The third
experience begins
with the mid
twentieth-century
moment of
high
mod
ernism,
with its inherent
contradictions,
as
typified by
Tati's
cynical critique
of
modernist aesthetic and blase
urbanity
in
Mon Oncle and
Playtime.
This is modernism
pushed
to a
particular dystopic
conclusion.
These three
experiences
are conditions of
modernity
that are not
necessarily indepen
dent of each
other,
and are situations that
typify
the modernist cinematic
city.
The Postmodern Cinematic
City
The
postmodern
cinematic
city
is imbued
with the themes of the
compression
of
space
and time.
Similarly,
cinema as an art form
has been
highly
successful both with its
usage
of
images
and its
ability
to cut back
and forth across time and
space;
as well as
its simultaneous
handling
of
intertwining
and
fragmented
themes
(Harvey,
1989,
p.
308).
Blade Runner
(1982),
a film
by Ridley
Scott about an
apocalyptic
Los
Angeles
in
2019,
is a
very widely
discussed
postmodern
film. The
city
of the future is
depicted
as a
scrambling
of the most sordid
physical
aspects
of the urban
present.
A
visually
stun
ning
exercise,
the
city,
is
part
film
noir/part
urban
jungle.
A third world
bazaar,
where
the
language
in the streets is a
strange,
immigrant, 'city-speak'.
The main
protagonists
of the film are a
bunch of
replicants (androids
who look
exactly
like humans and are
virtually
indistinguishable
from
them),
and
Deckerd,
the
policeman
-
blade runner
(played by
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CINEMA AND THE CITY
Harrison
Ford).
While the masses
struggle
in the streets of the
city,
the elite live in
multi-storeyed,
luxurious
pyramidal
struc
tures. The movie concludes with the hero
Deckard and his
replicant girlfriend
Rachel
escaping
out of the
city,
to the
north,
where
they
are
greeted
with a burst of
daylight
for
the first time. After the Los
Angeles
riots,
the
images
from Blade Runner were so
prevalent
that
Jerry
Brown,
then
governor
of
California, commented,
'the
spectre
of Blade
Runner haunts our cities'. Foucault's idea of
the
'panopticon',
a
dystopian inevitability
in
Brazil is also
prevalent
but in a different
way
in Blade Runner.
The search for the
replicants
in Blade
Runner
depends upon
a certain
technique
of
interrogation,
which relies on the fact that
replicants
have no real
history;
since
they
were
genetically
created as full adults and
lack the
experience
of a human childhood or
other
processes
of socialization
(Harvey,
1989,
pp.
311-312).
The
strongest
social bond
between Deckerd and the
replicants
in
revolt is the fact that
they
are both con
trolled and enslaved
by
a dominant cor
porate power (Harvey,
1989,
p. 313).
Scenes
in Blade Runner
provide
a
privileged
tour
of the
city
as
sepia-toned
and mist
enshrouded,
a
fully
industrial and
smog
bound
expanse
which retains a semblance of
a romantic
Utopian impulse.
The
gaze
which enables this
powerful space
is
augmented by
the existence of a second field
defined
by
the controls and data screens of the
hovercart. These
images impose
an order on the
movement of the
gliding
vehicle shown to be
travelling through
a traffic corridor whose
existence is invisible to the unaided
eye.
The
effect is one of
scopic
and
epistemological
pleasure:
the viewer sees and deduces how
(not
to mention
that)
the future works. One
perceives
and
participates
in this
temporary
alliance
between
technology
and
poetry,
this mechanical
ballet.
(Bukatman, 1993,
pp.
132-133)
Falling
Down
(1993)
is not a film that can
easily
be
thought
of as
postmodern
but it
fundamentally portrays
a
postmodern
con
dition. The film charts the
journey
of two
male characters William Foster
(played by
Michael
Douglas)
and a
retiring police
officer
Prendergast (played by
Robert
Duvall),
both
of whom are
trying
to reach 'home'. In
Foster's
case,
home
represents
a
fantasy,
since what he calls 'home' is the house he
used to share with his ex-wife and
child,
a
family
he is
legally
barred from
visiting.
In
Predergast's
case,
going
'home' means
going
to his
paranoiac
and unstable wife who has
forced him to take
up early
retirement.
Foster
represents
an obsolete universal
'Everyman'
(read
bourgeois
white
male).
He traverses a
landscape
that he constructs
as
fragmented,
hostile, violent,
unreadable
and therefore out of control
(Mahoney,
1997,
p. 174).
He is
displaced
both from the
public
realm as well as the
feminized,
maternali/od
space
that he insists on
thinking
of as
'home'. He
represents
'the
great
unmarked
or default
category
of Western
culture,
the
one that never needed to define
itself,
the
standard
against
which other
categories
have calculated their differences'
(Clover,
1993 in
Mahoney,
1997,
p. 174).
The film
Escape from
L.A.
(1996)
casts a
stark
light
on the dilemma of modernist
political legitimacy,
which
emerges
from
this
increasingly
divided
society.
The
pro
tagonist
here is Snake
Plisskin,
the anti-hero
of
Escape from
New York
(1981),
resurrected
fifteen
years
later. Like the earlier
film,
the
city
has been turned into a maximum
security prison
for those national criminals
deemed
incapable
of
rehabilitation,
a site of
expatriation,
where criminals are
stripped
of
citizenship.
The
city
in the film is a vicious
parody
of
contemporary
Los
Angeles.
However,
unlike the
portrayal
of the
city
in
Escape from
New
York,
it is no
longer
clear
that the
degraded city
is
any
worse than the
outside world its existence is meant to
protect.
The rest of the United States has
become the suburb to Los
Angeles' city.
The
leadership
of the United States is under a
fanatic dictator whose fascist solution is to
expel
all
foreigners, separatists
and
morally
questionable people
and to render them
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THE CINEMATIC CITY: BETWEEN MODERNIST UTOPIA AND POSTMODERNIST DYSTOPIA
utterly powerless.
Within Los
Angeles
how
ever,
despite
the
prevalence
of countless
gangs
and
violence,
people
are free to admit
their identities.
In a
truly homogenous
environment,
city
suburbs could
conceivably
exist as a series
of closed communities connected
only by
a
common
highway system.
However,
these
disparate
communities
bump up against
one
another in a divisive and often violent
way.
Much of the
negative
media attention on
contemporary
Los
Angeles
focuses on issues
of
community
breakdown
leading
to the
eventual breakout of urban
mayhem.
Mike
Davis
suggests
that the cause of race riots in
Los
Angeles
is the same as that
underlying
fictional and media views of the
city
-
the
fear of race. Davis contends that our
gleeful
response
to the fictional destruction of Los
Angeles
reflects our
ongoing
desire not
only
to isolate ourselves
from,
but to
destroy
the
'other'
(Davis, 1998,
p.
282).
Spike
Lee's film Do the
Right Thing
(1989)
is a racial tinderbox conceived as a
response
to the Howard
Beach, Queens N.Y,
incident
in 1986 where three white
youths
attacked
and killed a black man
(Muzzio, 1996,
p.
203).
The
city (Brooklyn,
New
York)
des
cribed
by
the movie is one that is
extremely
fragmented along
lines of race. The chara
cters in the movie
express
their indivi
dualized ethnic identities
through
music
and racial role models. The movie itself
starts with the
song 'Fight
the Power'
by
Public
Enemy.
Do the
Right Thing
is a
statement on race relations in America and
the
impact
of the
city
on its residents
(Pawelczak, 1992,
p.
263).
This movie was
somewhat
prophetic
in that it was released
two
years
before the L.A. riots that were
sparked
off
by
the
Rodney King
incident.
In all these
films,
the American
city
is
being systematically fragmented
and
privatized.
The new
'public' spaces
are new
mega complexes
and malls that have
supplanted
traditional streets. Instruments
of
panoptic
surveillance now
regulate
for
mer
spontaneity.
Within
privatized spaces,
public
activities are sorted into
strictly
functional
compartments
under the
gaze
of
private police
forces
(Davis, 1992,
p. 155).
Postmodernism in the cinematic medium
must be
conceptualized
in the continuum of
modernism. Post-Fordism was a reaction to
and a retreat from modernist economic
ideals related to the division of labour
portrayed
in
Metropolis
or It's a
Wonderful
Life (1946).
Postmodernism in its
political
manifestation is
depicted
in Blade Runner as
control
through fragmentation
rather than
the
regimented
order of the modernist
dystopia
of Brazil. The
fragmentation
in
Blade Runner is both
political
as well as
spatial.
Here we should remember that
postmodernism
in
ontological
terms embodies
a crisis of
subjectivity.
The
postmodern
subject
is no
longer
the
universal,
all
knowing,
fixed
subject
of
early modernity.
Rather,
here the
subject
is the site of
difference,
a difference that in and of itself is
implicated
in different sites.
Here,
the
emergence
of
Haraway's
(1990,
pp.
200-220)
cyborg
becomes a
figure
of this
post
modernity.
The
cyborg
is
usually
a
gender
less
being,
a fusion of human and
machine,
but one who transcends all
categories
of
'otherness'. The
cyborg
and the
replicant
(as
depicted
in Blade
Runner),
are both
figures
of
postmodernity;
but while the
replicant
simulates
gender
or class in different
ways,
making
it a simulacrum
(Harvey,
1989,
p.
309).
The
cyborg,
however,
cannot be
framed within these
categories altogether.
Postmodernism in its broader
scope,
is
the crisis of
knowledge
and
representation.
Modernism decrees that the
image
is
reality
and the
photograph
is
history.
The
post
modern bind is
precisely
that we do not
know the difference
(deprived
of a
stable,
neutral,
outside
place
which
may
allow us to
explain
this
difference).
The
shattering
of
the Archimedean
point
that
previously
offered the
subject
the
possibility
of
viewing
the
city
as
panorama
has
given way
to a
frantic
montage
of
images (Soja,
1989,
in
Mahoney,
1997,
p.
169).
Fragmentation
has
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CINEMA AND THE CITY
meant that we know our worlds in dis
jointed,
chaotic
ways.
Film as a medium
does not have the same restrictions as
writing
and it is
perhaps appropriate
that
the
postmodern
crisis has been
depicted
via
this medium.
The
post-modern flaneur,
still exists.
S/he
acknowledges
this
fragmentation,
and
yet
persists
in
walking
and
experiencing
the
city,
while
remarking upon
what
s/he
sees.
Here the
postmodern
narrative
techniques,
used
by
some
filmmakers,
become as useful
a tool as the
depiction
of
postmodernity
in
cinema. This is the case with
Woody
Allen's
seemingly disjointed
but
very
urban films.
The
portrayal
of the
city
as a
place
to be
lived in and
enjoyed appears
in his film
Manhattan
(1981),
a
story
of individuals
living
life in a modern
city.
In it
Allen,
as
the
protagonist
Isaac
Davis,
touches
every
base of white
upper-middle-class
New York
like
Bloomingdales,
MoMA,
Guggenheim,
etc
(Muzzio, 1996,
p. 199).
Juxtaposed
with
this view of New
York,
is a view of Los
Angeles
as a suburban
Utopia (to everyone
except
the
protagonist Alvy Singer, played
also
by Woody Allen)
in Allen's other New
York film Annie Hall
(1977).
Steve Martin's
L.A.
Story (1991)
is about a
city
that en
courages people
to act their most eccentric
selves. It is an
open-air
fun house where no
urban
grunginess
is allowed and where
even the
muggers
are
polite.
It is here where
we are in the most humorous of situations
that the true
possibilities
and limits of
frag
mentation are introduced and somewhat
resolved,
leaving
us with a choice
regarding
the nature of the
urbanity.
These
lighthearted
films
together
with the
more bleak ones offer a
very complex
view
of the two cities. The
fragmented
Los
Angeles
of Blade
Runner,
a
dystopia
for its
residents,
is a
Utopia
for the New Yorkers of
Annie
Hall,
since it
provides
them with the
very fragmentation
that
they
seek without
the
spatial
order of modern New York. And
the
depiction
of Los
Angeles
in Annie
Hall,
vis-a-vis New York in
particular,
becomes
the
utopic counterpart
to Blade Runner's ex
tremely dystopic representation
of the
city.
In the late
1990s,
the
postmodern city
moves from New York and Los
Angeles
again
to the small town of It's a
Wonderful
Life
but this time it is a manicured
post
modern New Urbanism. The
protagonist
in
The Truman Show
(1998),
Truman Burbank
(played by
Jim
Carrey),
is unaware that his
life is a
soap opera.
The
city
of The Truman
Show, Seahaven,
is an enhanced version of
Seaside, Florida,
where the movie was in
fact filmed. This New Urbanist resort town
has been described as a manufactured
place
beyond
the
decay
of the older
cities,
where
the well-off can
escape
to the off-world
colonies of Blade Runner. The
staged
town
of The Truman Show is a simulated
reality
within a
reality thereby blurring
the dis
tinctions between the TV show and real life.
As the audience
begins
to
identify
with the
protagonist,
Truman,
the film calls into
question
our own definition of
reality by
highlighting
the virtues of the virtual
city.
Here,
what is
perceived
as
reality( by
the
viewers)
is
really something
learned on TV.
The boundaries between the real and the
staged disappear
even for the
audience,
taking postmodernity beyond
mere
frag
mentation to a 'third
place'
(Baudrillard,
1988).
But this
postmodern paralysis
leads us to
ask,
where do we
go
from here? What could
exist after Blade Runner
(Harvey, 1989)?
In
Wim Wenders' Lisbon
Story (1994),
the
subject,
himself a
filmmaker,
is scared to
shoot since the
city
he
captures
on film is
not the 'real'
city.
He believes his hand and
his
eye corrupt
the
images
he records. The
protagonist
in the film is his
friend,
the
soundman,
who wanders about
recording
another narrative of the
city
based
solely
on
sound. Here the soundman intervenes to tell
the
cameraman/filmmaker
that the
magic
of
cinema is this
very
act of
representation.
The
filmmaker's
returning courage
is in
many
ways
a return to
modernity.
Here
again
we
can see that
postmodern
disillusion with
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THE CINEMATIC CITY: BETWEEN MODERNIST UTOPIA AND POSTMODERNIST DYSTOPIA
the cinematic
city along
the axis of
Utopian
modernity
and
dystopian postmodernity
urbanity
becomes not a decisive break with
modernity,
but rather an
ambiguous
con
tinuity
of it.
As we traverse this axis from the modern
to the
postmodern
in all of the above
mentioned
films,
we come across a
sequence
of cinematic
figures
that
expose
the
modernity-postmodernity, utopia-dystopia
continuum. The Blase is a
figure
whose
essential attitude is one of indifference
toward the distinctions between
things;
a certain mental dullness wherein all ex
perience
in the
city appears homogenous
(Simmel,
in
Leach, 1997,
p. 72).
The Flaneur
is a character whose ambivalence toward
the
city
is
played
out in his
strolling gaze,
as
he describes the
city
without
fully engaging
with it. The modernist
cynic,
has an amused
view of the modern
city
with its uniform
aesthetics. The
voyeur
is an urban
figure
who is seduced
by
the
private
realm,
and
engages
with
it,
while
attempting
to be
invisible himself. Then the camera takes on
the roles of some of these characters
par
ticularly
the
voyeur,
but it also becomes a
panopticon
-
an element of surveillance and
control of the
city.
The
figures
of
postmodernity appear
to
be
fundamentally
different from those of
modernity.
The
replicant,
a simulacrum that
can
replicate gender
and
class,
is distinct
from the
cyborg,
which exists outside these
categories altogether.
The
postmodern flaneur
still exists in the form of
Woody
Allen's
character in films like Annie Hall and
Manhattan. He is aware of the
fragmenta
tion of the
city,
remarks on it
casually,
but
enjoys
it for what it is. Once he discovers
that he is
being
watched,
the main character
of The Truman Show becomes a
figure
of
postmodernity
that can control the audience
instead of
simply being
the
object
of its
surveillance. Hence this
figure
becomes an
inverted
panopticon.
Here the audience loses
any
semblance of an Archimedean view
point
and the distinction between the real
and the virtual
disappears.
These are
figures
that
help
us understand the
experiences
of
Cinematic Stories
This issue of Built Environment covers
various notions of the
city: city
as small
town,
city
as centre of
civilization,
city
as
mosaic,
city
as
hell,
apocalypse city, city
as
hope
and
city
as
corporation.
The four
essays
in this issue allow their writers to
explore
in cinematic
space
cities
they
know
and love.
Anthony
Sutcliffe's
essay
'Cities
in the Cinema' is an account of American
cinema and its
relationship
to
Broadway
between the late 1920s and the
early
1950s.
Sutcliffe charts the
history
of
Broadway
from its
beginnings
as an Indian trail
running through
Manhattan to its
position
as one of the main roads in the
city,
which
persuaded
the
planning
commission in 1811
to retain it as the
only winding
street in an
otherwise uniform
grid
of roads.
From the first movie to imitate
Broadway
in
cinema,
The
Jazz Singer
in
1927,
to Fred
Astaire's 1940
Broadway Melody, Broadway
was invoked in these films
by
either
copying
the form of a musical or
by focusing
on life
behind the scenes as it was
experienced
in
Broadway.
Some films like
Forty
Second
Street tried to
capture
the
physical
ambience
of the area with aerial shots of
Broadway
and
images
of
skyscrapers, subway
en
trances and elevated tracks of the Great
White
Way.
However most of these
early
films showed
only
a side of
Broadway
and
did not focus on the seedier
aspects
of
Broadway
as a street of vice or crime. More
importantly
these films
captured
little of the
actual
physical
ambience of
Broadway,
which
presented
itself to those within it as a
confusing
and overcrowded street. Within the
space
of cinema
Broadway
was
presented
as
a forest of
skyscrapers
that
provide
a back
drop
for the
plot
of the movie
yet
in
reality
the
proportions
of the street and the
height
of the
building escaped
the
gaze
of those
who were in
Broadway.
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CINEMA AND THE CITY
Sutcliffe
argues
that the
representation
of
Broadway
in American cinema between the
1920s and the 1950s was of little use to
architects and
planners
because it masked
the true
nature,
both
physical
and
social,
of
Broadway presenting
it as a vibrant
street,
glamorous
and
exciting,
with little
regard
to
the
reality
of its condition as a corridor
street that was
tremendously congested
and
equally
unsafe.
Ellen Boccuzzi's
essay
'Rome:
City
and
Myth
in Fellini's Roma and
Jarmusch's Night
on Earth' is the
unravelling
of two cinematic
texts as examined
through
the lens of
gender
and the
production
of the
myth
of
the
city.
Boccuzzi
unpacks
the
gender
issue
in Roma as the
body
of a
city
and the
body
of
a woman as two
interchangeable
sites of
desire as seen
through
the male
gaze.
Fellini's Roma is a
labyrinthine,
subterran
ean and feminine
space
that is static and
alternatively
discovered and
appropriated
by
the
moving
male
gaze.
Unlike the
pro
tagonist
in the Fellini movie who searches
for the feminine core of
Rome,
in
Jarmusch's
film the
protagonist,
Gino is situated within
an interior
space,
the
taxicab,
but forever
circumventing
and
reacting
to the
city
from
the outside.
Boccuzzi's
essay
also deals with the idea
of architecture and urban
space
as the
producers
and
propagators
of the
myth
of
Rome. The movie invokes the
antiquity
of
Rome in scenes where the construction crew
that is
assigned
the task of
digging
a
subway
tunnel under the
city,
is
repeatedly
obstructed
by
various
archaeological
remains
of awesome
beauty
that
disappear
the
moment
they
are unearthed. Here is the
idea that the
myth
of
Rome,
which
pervades
the soil of the
city,
is
powerful enough
to
quell
or at least divert the force of
modernity.
However in the end the old
city
of Rome is
appropriated by modernity
when
a
group
of men
speed through
it on their
motorcycles.
Illuminated
by
their motor
cycle headlights,
certain
parts
of the
city
are
subject
to their
selection,
silenced
by
the
sound of their vehicles and feminized
by
their excessive
masculinity.
Boccuzzi's
essay explores
the
way
the
city
is constructed
through
the
respective
lenses
of two directors each of whom is a
modernist of sorts. She
explores
the notion
of the
fragmented
cinematic
narrative;
a
postmodern representation
of the work of a
modernist director. Her
essay
examines and
compares
the framework of different lenses.
Jarmusch's
film deals with the other
myth
of
Rome,
the sexual
myth,
as it is
played
out
against
the
backdrop
of the old
city.
In the
film a
collage
of
modernity, comprising
of
vespas
and
telephone
booths,
is also show
cased
against
a somewhat mute
facade
of
the old
city.
Gino,
traverses two
landscapes
of the
city
-
one real and
represented by
the
signs
in the
city
and one
imagined
which are
the cultural associations that these
signs
bring up
in Gino's mind.
Susanne Cowan's
essay
'A Woman's
Place in Cinematic
Space:
The
Engendered
Architecture of the Home' is an
exploration
in the
way
women and their
relationship
to
the
spaces they
inhabit is
imaged
in America
cinema from the 1950s to the late 1990s.
Cowan uses three sites
(that
of the suburban
home,
the ritual of the
family
dinner,
and
the
accessibility
to a
car)
in four films
(A
Date zvith
your Family,
Two Ford
Family,
The
Ice Storm and American
Beauty)
to
critique
the
portrayal
of women in these films.
In all four films the women characters
maintain a
peculiar relationship
with their
suburban homes in that while it is tradi
tionally
seen as their
realm,
where
they
have
most
control,
it also binds them to their
traditional role as homemaker. The ideal
suburban
family
is
typified by
the dream
suburban
home,
the
upkeep
of which rests
with the mother of the suburban
family.
This remains true in the 1950s when she is
the housewife and in the late 1990s when
she tries in vain to
juggle
the
multiple
re
sponsibilities
as
wife, mother,
professional,
cook and
housekeeper.
This desire to maintain the mask of
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THE CINEMATIC CITY: BETWEEN MODERNIST UTOPIA AND POSTMODERNIST DYSTOPIA
suburban
happiness
is
typified by
the ritual
of the
family
dinner. While in A Date With
Your
Family
the
family
meal is seen as the
extremely oppressive space
where women
are meant to be seen and not
heard,
in The
Ice Storm and American
Beauty
the ritual of
dinner
slowly collapses
into
opportunities
for the women characters to vent their
frustrations. In the later films the
flimsy
facade
of dinner
etiquette
is
repeatedly
interrupted
and
ruptured by
the irreverence
and violence that the
family
members show
towards each other. These films also reveal
the
significance
of the car and the role it
plays
in
keeping
women tied to
very rigid
definitions of
gender.
In the Two Ford
Family
the woman is
offered freedom from her isolation and
immobility
not in
any
real
way
but rather in
the
panacea
of a car. In The Ice Storm it is the
women who remain bound within the
enclave of the suburbs without the
privilege
of
mobility
which is
solely enjoyed by
the
male characters. The
protagonist
of American
Beauty
on the other hand finds both
refuge
and
power
in her car but even this is
only
temporary
because in the end the car
only
serves to deliver her to her
prescribed
roles
as the mother at a
pep rally
or
housekeeper
in her suburban home. Susanne Cowan ex
plores
the vehicles
by
which one
experiences
the
city (or
in this
case,
its suburban
periphery);
the
car,
the
house,
the
dining
table,
while
focusing
on two films both of
which
highlight
the
modernity/post
modernity, core/periphery
discourse.
In The
Marginalized
American
City'
Caitlin
Dyckman
examines two
films,
Devil's
Advocate and
Magnolia,
and their common
theme of the loss in human values related to
the absence of the
city
and its
physical
manifestations in time and
space. By
invoking
seminal texts such as
Geoffrey
Scott's The Architecture
of
Humanism,
and
Jane Jacob's
The Death and
Life of
Great
American
Cities,
Dyckman argues
that the
social dislocation and isolation that is
experienced by
the characters in the films is
a result of the
city
that ceases to function as
a
place
for
meaningful
human contact or
exchange.
Urban
space
or the
physical
form
of the
city
is
conspicuously
either absent or
marginalized suggesting
the characters
decline into
greed, self-preservation
and
immorality.
Dyckman
also examines the two movies
within the
tropes
of
modernity, post
modernity
and
supermodernity
and how
these notions are manifested within the
forms of each of the movies.
Magnolia
and
Devil's Advocate both
play
with the modern
ist ideal of
uniformity
and mass
production
that denies
individuality.
These two films
critique
that ideal
by suggesting
that
modernism when it is not
tempered
with
humanism
begins
a
dangerous
isolation of
the individual from
society
and
community.
Magnolia's story
line carries with it a
very
postmodern
character in that it weaves in
and out of
sub-plots
that are situated within
the framework of a
larger
narrative. Devil's
Advocate does the same in that the linear
form of the narrative is
intercepted
in the
beginning by
an intense flash forward that
reveals the entire
story
line in a few seconds.
The
concept
of
supermodernism
is mani
fest in both cinematic texts in the lack of
relation between
space
and
place.
In both
movies the characters lose their frame of
self-reference because
they
are unable to
relate to a sense of
place.
A
supermodernism
is manifest in these films in that the
characters in these films are situated within
a
non-place
where
they
are unable or
unwilling
to define themselves.
Dyckman
explores
the notion of 'hell' within the
city
in the context of a socio-economic
structure;
'the
lurking
Devil within the self'
typifies
its
dystopic potential.
Sutcliffe and Boccuzzi both examine
modernist
representations
of the
city.
Sutcliffe
explores
a
representation
of Broad
way
that suited the motives of the
story
tellers and one that had little to do with the
'real'
Broadway.
Boccuzzi examines
repre
sentations of a
city
that are themselves
BUILT ENVIRONMENT VOL 26 NO 4 279
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CINEMA AND THE CITY
modernist,
although portrayed through
a
director's
postmodern
lens. Cowan and
Dyckman explore
the
dystopic
nature of
Utopian
urban
ideals;
Cowan
by
the clear
dystopic
inversion of the
Utopian
suburb,
and
Dyckman, by emphasizing
the
city's
absence.
All the films that we discuss in this
issue,
either reveal the
dystopic potential
of mod
ernist
Utopias,
or
present
a
postmodernist
fragmentation
that cannot be understood
without the embedded
assumption
of
modernist desires. I have
increasingly
come
to believe that our
understanding
of the
city
cannot be viewed
independently
of the
cinematic
experience.
Jean
Baudrillard's
notion of
starting
from the screen and
moving
to the
city accepts
a
duality
between
the real
city
and the reel
city
that no
longer
exists. I
propose
instead that in order to
understand this
relationship,
we start not
from one and move to the
other,
but do both
simultaneously.
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FILMS
American
Beauty (1999)
directed
by
Sam Mendes.
Annie Hall
(1977)
directed
by Woody
Allen.
Batman
(1989)
directed
by
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Berlin:
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Blade Runner
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Broadway Melody (1940)
directed
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Brazil
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directed
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Do the
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Escape from
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Escape from
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Falling
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directed
by Joel
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Forty-Second
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(1933)
directed
by Lloyd
Bacon.
It's a
Wonderful Life (1946)
directed
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Frank
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Just Imagine (1930)
directed
by
David Butler.
Lisbon
Story (1994)
directed
by
Wim Wenders.
L.A.
Story (1991)
directed
by
Mick
Jackson.
Magnolia (1992)
directed
by
Paul Thomas Anderson.
Manhattan
(1981)
directed
by Woody
Allen.
Metropolis (1926)
directed
by
Fritz
Lang.
Modern Times
(1936)
directed
by
Charles
Chaplin.
Mon Oncle
(1958)
directed
by Jacques
Tati.
Night
On Earth
(1992)
directed
by Jim Jarmusch.
Playtime
(1966)
directed
by Jacques
Tati.
Rear Window
(1954)
directed
by
Alfred Hitchcock.
Roma
(1972)
directed
by
Federico Fellini.
Taxi Driver
(1978)
directed
by
Martin Scorcese.
The Fountainhead
(1949)
directed
by King
Vidor.
The Ice Storm
(1997)
directed
by Ang
Lee.
The
Jazz Singer (1927)
directed
by
Alan Crosland.
The Truman Show
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directed
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Peter Weir.
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