By Iván Villarmea Álvarez
While movie reports has normally handled the presence of the town in movie as an city textual content working inside a cinematic one, this technique has lately advanced into the examine of cinema as a know-how of position. From this angle, Documenting Cityscapes explores the way in which the town has been depicted via nonfiction filmmakers because the past due Seventies, paying specific realization to 3 aesthetic trends: documentary landscaping, city self-portraits, and metafilmic concepts.
Through the formal research of fifteen works from six diverse nations, this quantity investigates how the increase of subjectivity has helped to advance a type of gaze that's in the direction of electorate than to the associations and firms liable for fresh significant ameliorations. Documenting Cityscapes consequently unearths the level to which cinema has develop into an agent of city swap, during which convinced movies not just problem the main debatable regulations of overdue capitalism but in addition may be able to produce spatiality themselves.
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Extra resources for Documenting cityscapes : urban change in contemporary non-fiction film
Such an opposition between voyeurs and walkers is even political, because the former clearly hold a position of power: they can rule the city from the distance, without actually experiencing it, while walkers can only claim their right to the city by temporarily appropriating the places through which they walk every day. For this reason, the walker’s gaze is usually associated with democratic values, while the voyeur’s gaze rather suggests the authoritarian mentality of demiurges and dictators.
When filming buildings, Spanish architect Jorge Gorostiza has distinguished two main attitudes that insist on the differences between the space of fiction and the space of documentary: ‘the first attitude uses the cinematic apparatus in order to create new architectures or transform existing ones, usually as a space for developing fictions; while the second one places the filmmaker as a mere spectator who only describes the buildings without intervening in them, almost always through a documentary style’ (2011: xviii; my translation).
For this reason, the walker’s gaze is usually associated with democratic values, while the voyeur’s gaze rather suggests the authoritarian mentality of demiurges and dictators. Furthermore, these two perspectives also refer to the concepts of ‘hard city’ and ‘soft city’, which respectively correspond to Lefevbre’s representations of space and representational spaces: as explained by François Penz and Andong Lu, ‘aerial shots of cities offer a God’s eye perspective belonging to the “hard city” … associated with a world of urban planning, density and statistics.