Books Society, Politics & Philosophy

Screening the City

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Pages: 322

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Verso: First Edition edition (17 Mar. 2003)

By: Mark Shiel (Author)

The city has long been an important location for filmmakers. Visually compelling and always modern, it is the perfect metaphor for man's place in the contemporary world. In this provocative collection of essays, a diverse range of films are examined in terms of the relationship between cinema and the paradigmatic urban experience in Europe and the United States since the early twentieth century. Moscow, Leningrad, Berlin, Prague, and Warsaw - sites of dramatic upheaval in the 1920s-1930s, and again in the 1970s-1980s - feature strongly in the first part of the book. In the cinematic representation of these cities, modernist experimentation combined with social and political change to produce such memorable films as The Man with the Movie Camera, Berlin: The Symphony of a great City, Berlin Alexanderplatz, and, more recently, the work of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jan Svankmajer, and the Brother Quay. The different but comparable space of the North American city since World War Two provides the primary focus for the second part of the book. Here, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto proved the settings for an investigation of the relations hip between cinema and race, and cinema and postmodern global capitalism, in a comprehensive range of films from Point Blank, Medium Cool, Network, and Annie Hall in the 1960s and 1970s to Boyz N the Hood, Falling Down, Pulp Fiction, [Safe], Crash and The End of Violence in the 1990s. Throughout the book, the cinema's artistic encounter with the city always intersects with a social and political engagement in which urgent issues of class, race, sexuality, the environment, liberty, capital, and totalitarianism are everywhere at stake.


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