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Cinematic Urbanism : A History of the Modern from Reel to Real - Nezar AlSayyad

Cinematic Urbanism

A History of the Modern from Reel to Real

Paperback Published: 1st August 2006
ISBN: 9780415700498
Number Of Pages: 272

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The city and the cinema have become inextricably intertwined over the last century, with the identities of places becoming bound up in their cinematic portrayals. We have seen the landmarks of New York, London and Tokyo turn into iconic symbols of wealth, power, status, style and culture, and for the majority of people the images and sounds of movies form the only experience they will ever have of distant cities.

Cinematic Urbanism presents an urban history of modernity and postmodernity through the lens of cinema. AlSayyad traces the dissolution of the boundary between real and reel through time and space via a series of films that represent different modernities. They include:

  • Cinema Paradiso

  • It's a Wonderful Life

  • Metropolis

  • Brazil

  • Blade Runner

  • Annie Hall

  • Taxi Driver

  • Do the Right Thing

  • My Beautiful Laundrette

  • The Truman Show.

Alsayyad argues that our understanding of the city cannot be viewed independently of cinematic experience. Films do not only capture the depiction of a society; they influence the way we construct images of the world and, as a result, how we operate within it. We are beginning to blur the distinction between what is real in the everyday, and how we imagine the everyday. Cinematic Urbanism explores this dynamic, bringing together insights from urban and film studies to illuminate current architectural debate.


About the authorp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introduction: the cinematic city and the quest for the modernp. 1
Industrial modernity: the flaneur and the tramp in the early twentieth century cityp. 19
Urbanizing modernity: the traditional cinematic small townp. 45
Orwellian modernity: utopia/dystopia and the city of the future pastp. 71
Cynical modernity, or the modernity of cynicismp. 97
From postmodern condition to cinematic cityp. 123
Voyeuristic modernity: the lens, the screen and the cityp. 147
The modernity of the sophisticate and the misfit: the city through different eyesp. 169
An alternative modernity: race, ethnicity and the urban experiencep. 189
Exurban postmodernity: utopia, simulacra and hyper-realityp. 211
Epiloguep. 237
Illustration credits and sourcesp. 241
Selected bibliographyp. 247
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415700498
ISBN-10: 0415700493
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st August 2006
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 17.15  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1