Urban Cinema and Photography

On Cities and “Cityness”

Authored by: James Donald

The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415792554
eBook ISBN: 9781315211633
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, I question the relationship of cinema with specific cities and “‘city-ness’ in general.” I argue that cities have symbolic significance because they have histories. Narrative transforms space into place, and photography and film have played their part in that alchemy. They preserve official histories and the passage of time. Their apparently innocent realism and referentiality may be tinged with intimations of loss, but they also free us to imagine the cities we know otherwise than they are.

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