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Documenting Cityscapes: Urban Change in Contemporary Non-Fiction Film Documenting Cityscapes: Urban Change in Contemporary Non-Fiction Film

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Documenting Cityscapes explores the way the city has been depicted by nonfiction filmmakers since the late 1970s, paying particular attention to three aesthetic tendencies: documentary landscaping, urban self-portraits, and metafilmic strategies.

Documenting Cityscapes explores the way the city has been depicted by nonfiction filmmakers since the late 1970s, paying particular attention to three aesthetic tendencies: documentary landscaping, urban self-portraits, and metafilmic strategies.

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While film studies has traditionally treated the presence of the city in film as an urban text operating inside of a cinematic one, this approach has recently evolved into the study of cinema as a technology of place. From this perspective, Documenting Cityscapes explores the way the city has been depicted by nonfiction filmmakers since the late 1970s, paying particular attention to three aesthetic tendencies: documentary landscaping, urban self-portraits, and metafilmic strategies.

Through the formal analysis of fifteen works from six different countries, this volume investigates how the rise of subjectivity has helped to develop a kind of gaze that is closer to citizens than to the institutions and corporations responsible for recent major transformations. Documenting Cityscapes therefore reveals the extent to which cinema has become an agent of urban change, in which certain films not only challenge the most controversial policies of late capitalism but also are able to produce spatiality themselves.

Works covered: One Way Boogie Woogie / 27 Years Later (James Benning, 2004), Los (James Benning, 2000), L.A.X. (Fabrice Ziolkowski, 1980), Thames Film (William Raban, 1986), London (Patrick Keiller, 1994), News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1977), Lost Book Found (Jem Cohen, 1996), Lightning Over Braddock (Tony Buba, 1988), Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989), Les hommes du port (Alain Tanner, 1995), Of Time and the City (Terrence Davies, 2008), Porto da Minha Infancia (Porto of My Childhood) (Manoel de Oliviera, 2001), My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007), The Decay of Fiction (Pat O'Neill, 2002), Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Iván Villarmea Álvarez is a film critic and researcher who specializes in the representation of the city in film. He coedits the online film journal A Cuarta Parede and is the coeditor of the volume Jugar con la Memoria. El Cine Portugués en el Siglo XXI.

Tables of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Place, Images, and Meanings
1. On City and Cinema
2. Documentary Film at the Turn of the Century
Part 1. Landscaping
3. Observational Landscaping
4. Psychogeographical Landscaping
5. Autobiographical Landscaping
Part 2. Urban Self-Portraits
6. Self-Portrait as Socio-Political Documentary
7. Self-Portrait as Essay Film
8. Self-Portrait as Self-Fiction
Part 3. Metafilmic Strategies
9. Inside Hollywood Film
Conclusion: Cinema as Agent of Urban Change
Appendix
Bibliography
Index

While film studies has traditionally treated the presence of the city in film as an urban text operating inside of a cinematic one, this approach has recently evolved into the study of cinema as a technology of place. From this perspective, Documenting Cityscapes explores the way the city has been depicted by nonfiction filmmakers since the late 1970s, paying particular attention to three aesthetic tendencies: documentary landscaping, urban self-portraits, and metafilmic strategies.

Through the formal analysis of fifteen works from six different countries, this volume investigates how the rise of subjectivity has helped to develop a kind of gaze that is closer to citizens than to the institutions and corporations responsible for recent major transformations. Documenting Cityscapes therefore reveals the extent to which cinema has become an agent of urban change, in which certain films not only challenge the most controversial policies of late capitalism but also are able to produce spatiality themselves.

Works covered: One Way Boogie Woogie / 27 Years Later (James Benning, 2004), Los (James Benning, 2000), L.A.X. (Fabrice Ziolkowski, 1980), Thames Film (William Raban, 1986), London (Patrick Keiller, 1994), News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1977), Lost Book Found (Jem Cohen, 1996), Lightning Over Braddock (Tony Buba, 1988), Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989), Les hommes du port (Alain Tanner, 1995), Of Time and the City (Terrence Davies, 2008), Porto da Minha Infancia (Porto of My Childhood) (Manoel de Oliviera, 2001), My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007), The Decay of Fiction (Pat O'Neill, 2002), Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Iván Villarmea Álvarez is a film critic and researcher who specializes in the representation of the city in film. He coedits the online film journal A Cuarta Parede and is the coeditor of the volume Jugar con la Memoria. El Cine Portugués en el Siglo XXI.

Tables of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Place, Images, and Meanings
1. On City and Cinema
2. Documentary Film at the Turn of the Century
Part 1. Landscaping
3. Observational Landscaping
4. Psychogeographical Landscaping
5. Autobiographical Landscaping
Part 2. Urban Self-Portraits
6. Self-Portrait as Socio-Political Documentary
7. Self-Portrait as Essay Film
8. Self-Portrait as Self-Fiction
Part 3. Metafilmic Strategies
9. Inside Hollywood Film
Conclusion: Cinema as Agent of Urban Change
Appendix
Bibliography
Index

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 9780231174534
Author(s) Ivan Villarmea Alvarez
Publisher(s) Wallflower Press
Format Paperback
Original publication date 22 May 2015
Number of pages 240 pages including 24 B&W illustrations

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