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cinema and urbanism syllabus

Cinema & Urbanism

Associate Professor Louis-Georges Schwartz

T-Thu 10:30 AM – 1PM

Spring 2013

School Of Film

Ohio University

 

Office Hours:

M 2PM -5 PM

 

This class will examine the relationship between film and cities. One cannot imagine the history of cinema without cities. The industrial conditions necessary for the development and production of the cinematograph as well as other early cinematographic technology did not exist outside of urban areas. For the first third of film history, cinema’s primary audiences were urban for the simple reason that only cities had enough population to make movie theaters commercially viable. The class will have two foci:

1)    We will look at how perceptions of urban environment make people and movie characters who they are through processes of subjectification, desubjectification and interpellation (processes and perceptions that are grounded in the material conditions of life in historically specific cities and fictional cities.

2)    We will also learn to see films, even fiction films, as analyses of historically specific urban space and the life-forms that that they foster. We will especially attend to the revolutionary impetus in dystopian critiques of urban space and urban utopias posited by the films.

 

We will orient our work so that it can be used to think

A city where ……

Social relations are structured by our needs and desires instead of the interests of developers.

 

Research Paper: The final paper, due May 2, will focus on a particular city, which must be chosen by January 22. The paper will analyze a film or several films about that city, or the film industry in that city, or film exhibition in that city, or the planning of that city according to cinematic principals. Students will informally report on their early research on February 7. I recommend that students submit a draft to me by 10th week.

 

Grading:

Participation in class discussion 40% of Grade

Final Paper 60%

Excused absences will be permitted

 

Student responsibilities:

Aside from attendance and the final paper, students must do all the reading, see all the films on the syllabus as well as other relevant films, and prepare for class discussion.

 

 

Books Available @ Amazon.com

AlSayyad, Nezar. Cinematic Urbanism : A History Of The Modern From Reel To Real. New York. Routledge. 2009

Drake, Chris. Alphaville. Champaign, IL. University of Illinois Press. 2005.

Elsaesser, Thomas. Metropolis. British Film Institute. London. 2008

Forgacs, David. Rome Open City. London. British Film Institute. 2008.

Gordon, Robert. Bicycle Thieves . London. British Film Institute. 2008.

Kaes, Anton. M. British Film Institute. London. 2008

White, Rob. The Third Man.  London. British Film Institute. 2008.

Kracauer, Siegfried. Of Film. Princeton. Princeton University Press. 1997.

 

 

 

 

January 15:

Screening:

Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin Symphony Of A Great City) (Ruttman, 1927)

Bezucelna prochazka (Aimless Walk) (Hamid, 1930)

 

January 17:

Readings:

Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” (1903.) in Gary Bridge an Sophie Watson, eds. The Blackwell City Reader. Oxford. Wiley-Blackwell. 2002. (PDF)

 

 

January 22:

Screening:

Человек с киноаппаратом (Man With A Movie Camera) (Vertov, 1929)

Paris Qui Dort (The Crazy Ray) (Clair, 1925)

 

Discussion of cities chosen for research


 

 

 

January 24:

Readings:

Alifragkis, Stavros and François Penz. “Spatial dialectics: montage and spatially organised narrative in stories without human leads” Digital Creativity 2006, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 221–233. (PDF)

Chapter 1 in AlSayyad, Nezar. Cinematic Urbanism : A History Of The Modern From Reel To Real. New York. Routledge. 2009.

Kracauer, Siegfried. “Inherent Affinities” in Theory Of Film. Princeton. Princeton University Press. 1997. pp. 60-74.

Kracauer, Siegfried. “Gratifications” in Theory Of Film. Princeton. Princeton University Press. 1997. pp. 166-172.

metropolis-sketch-for-a-film-19211922/

Michelson, Annette “Dr. Crase and Mr. Clair” October, Vol. 11 Essays in Honor of Jay Leyda (Winter, 1979), pp. 30-53 (PDF)

Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo. “Dynamic of the Metropolis”

 http://socks-studio.com/2011/12/17/laszlo-moholy-nagy-dynamic-of-the-

 

Vidler, Anthony. “The Explosion of Space: Architecture and the Filmic Imaginary” Assemblage, No. 21, (Aug., 1993), pp. 44-59. (PDF)

 

 

January 29:

Screening:

Metropolis (Lang, 1927)

 

January 31:

Screening:

M (Lang, 1931)

 

February 5:

Reading:

Bruno, Giuliana “City Views :The Voyage of Film Images.” In The Cinematic City. David B. Clarke, Ed.  New York. Routledge. 1997. (PDF)

Bruno, Giuliana. “Motion and Emotion: Film and the Urban Fabric.” In Andrew Webber and Emma Wilson Eds. Cities In Transition : The Moving Image and the Modern Metropolis. London. Wallflower. 2008. (PDF)

 

Smith, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith “Cities : Real and Imagined” in Mark Siel and Tony Fitzmaurice, Eds. In Cinema And The City : Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context. Malden, MA. Blackwell. 2001. (PDF)

 

Elsaesser, Thomas. Metropolis. British Film Institute. London. 2008

Kaes, Anton. M. British Film Institute. London. 2008

 

 

February 7:

Research Workshop

 

February 12:

Screening:

Roma, città aperta (Rome Open City) (Rossellini, 1945)

 

February 14:

Reading:

Forgacs, David. Rome Open City. London. British Film Institute. 2008.

 

February 19:

Screening:

Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves ) (De Sica, 1948)

 

February 21:

Reading

Gordon, Robert. Bicycle Thieves . London. British Film Institute. 2008.

 

February 26:

Screening:

The Third Man (Reed, 1949)

 

February 28:

Reading:

White, Rob. The Third Man.  London. British Film Institute. 2008.

 

March 4:

Spring Break

 

March 6:

Spring Break

 

March 12:

Screening:

Cleo de 5 a 7 (Cleo From 5 to 7) Varda 1962


 

 

March 14:

Ivain Gilles, “Formulary for a New Urbanism”October 1953
Internationale Situationniste #1 http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/presitu/formulary.html

 

“Unitary Urbanism at the End of the 1950s

Internationale Situationniste #3 (December 1959)” http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/unitary.html

Debord, Guy “Situationist Theses on Traffic”Internationale Situationniste #3 (November 1959) http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/traffic.html

 

Debord Guy. “Theory of the Dérive” Les Lèvres Nues #9 (November 1956)

 

Ungar, Steven. Cleo de 5 a 7 London. British Film Institute. 2008

 

Drake, Chris. Alphaville. Champaign, IL. University of Illinois Press. 2005.

Kracauer, Siegfried. “Analysis of a City Map” In The Mass Ornament. Thomas Y. Levin Ed. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1995.

 

March 19:

Alphaville (Godard, 1965)

Research Discussion

 

March 21:

Reading:

“Critique of Urbanism”International Situationniste #6 (August 1961) http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/critique.html

 

Drake, Chris. Alphaville. Champaign, IL. University of Illinois Press. 2005.

Kracauer, Siegfried. “Analysis of a City Map” In The Mass Ornament. Thomas Y. Levin Ed. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1995. (PDF)

Vaneigem, Raoul “Comments Against Urbanism” Internationale Situationniste #6 (August 1961)

 


 

 

March 26:

Screening:

Escape From New York (Carpenter, 1981)

 

March 28:

Reading:

Harvey, David “The Right To The City.” New Left Review. V. 53.  September / October 2008. (PDF)

 

April 2:

Screening:

Desperately Seeking Susan (Seidelman, 1985)

 

April 4:

Reading:

Peck, Jamie. “Liberating The City: Between New York And New Orleans.” Copyright © 2006 by V. H. Winston & Son, Inc. All rights reserved.

Urban Geography, 2006, 27, 8, pp. 681–713. (PDF)

 

April 9:

Screening:

Do The Right Thing (Lee, 1989)

 

April 11:

Chapter 8: AlSayyad, Nezar. Cinematic Urbanism : A History Of The Modern From Reel To Real. New York. Routledge. 2009

 

April 16:

Blade Runner (Scott, 1982)

In Order Not To Be Here (Stratman, 2002)

 

 

April 18:

Chapter 5: AlSayyad, Nezar. Cinematic Urbanism : A History Of The Modern From Reel To Real. New York. Routledge. 2009

 

Mike David “The Ecology Of Fear” http://www.mediamatic.net/6147/en/beyond-blade-runner-urban-control-1

 

April 23:

Screening:

Los Angeles Plays Itself (Andersen, 2003)


 

 

April 25:

Screening

二十四城/二十四城記 (24 City) (Jia, 2008)

 

May 2: Final Paper Due

 

 

 

 

 

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

The Ohio University Student Code of Conduct prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty. These include -but are not limited to- cheating; plagiarism; forgery; furnishing false information to the University; and alteration or misuse of University documents, records, or identification. In addition, assignments that are totally/partially taken from an external source such as published information (book, web page, etc.), produced by a translation program or by another person will receive NO credit. All forms of dishonesty will be reported to the Director of the program. Possible consequences include a grade of zero on the assignment, course failure, and/or referral to judiciaries.  See The OU Student Code of Conduct

 

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

We are committed to ensuring equal opportunity for students with a disability. This is a collaborative process and effort among the Disability Services office, the student and the instructor. Students with disabilities should provide the instructor with written notification of their disability via Disability Student Services and make a direct request for accommodations to establish the means of providing accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids within one week of the beginning of the course. If you have any condition (physical/learning disability), which will make it difficult for you to perform class work as delineated in this syllabus or if you require special accommodations, it is YOUR responsibility to notify your instructor the first week of class.