Cinema and the City

- Prof Ranjani Mazumdar

This course looks at the representation of the city in cinema. Exploring the links between urban topography and cinematic space across a range of thematic, historical and cultural concerns, the attempt will be to situate and understand cinema as an innovative and powerful archive of urban life. The cinematic city is born at the intersection of mental, physical and social space. It is in this imagined city that we get access to the fleeting, the ephemeral and the transient that shapes the rhythm and movement of contemporary city life. Through a range of readings on the city and cinema, along with screenings of films from across the world, the course will conceptually journey through the traffic of signs that move between the physical spaces of the city and its cinematic representation.

Key Readings:

• Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999.

• Buck-Morss, Suzan. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin & the Arcades Project. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: The MIT Press, 1990.

• Clarke, David B. Ed. The Cinematic City. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

• Donald, James. Imagining the Modern City. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

• Friedberg, Anne. Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern. Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press, 1993.

• Neumann, Dietrich. Ed. Film Architecture: From Metropolis to Blade Runner. Munich, London, New York: Prestel, 1999. • Shiel, Mark & Tony Fitzmaurice. Ed. Screening the City. London & New York: Verso, 2003.

• Simmel, Georg. On Individuality and Social Forms: Selected Writings. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1971.

• Vidler, Anthony. Warped Space: Art, Architecture & Anxiety in Modern Culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: MIT Press, 2001.