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cinema and city

A number of cultural theorists and avant-garde artists have taken note of the homologous relationship between the cinema and the city. Hotel-San-Carlos-Psycho-2-1.jpg

More contemporary figurations of this problematic assert that the city is not simply like a film but is a film in its heterogeneous visual and auditory refractions and surfaces (Anthony Vidler 2000). 
This course seeks to explore the diale ctical relation between cinema and city in terms of analogy, mediation, experience and action to discern how particular occurrences of city space and temporality have been expressed across a variety of films and other media productions. We will look at a range of creative and visual works to understand how city stories and urban spaces have been imagined through the cinematic. In our search for a more precise understanding of the relation between cinema and city, we shall also pay particular attention to the representation of locality as an intrinsic aspect of the generic image of the city.

Our starting point is the idea that cities are not images but living entities deeply connected to and fabricated through collective memories, social relations and structures expressed in material culture. Though we may say that cities are not images, cities are images before they are cities—they are imagined, dreamed and planned. While such imaginings can be understood through and clarified by way of the aesthetic systems/experiments of art making, these cannot be reduced to art. Rather, they belong to a network of discourses, hierarchies, and power relations that are both structured and unpredictable. Photographic and digital images therefore are not simply representations of imagined spaces or records of moments past. Rather the cinema has been integrally tied to the very enactment of city space, to the creative performance of urbanity and to the character of cities, to the city as a character. Thus, we must understand the city in cinema as a dynamic movement connected to the life world.

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