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Cinema & City - Essay Example

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Movies have always been connected to urban space. Films were born in the major cities of the world like Berlin, Paris, Hollywood and others. Cities continue to be the only spaces where all major film industries are located. Cities also serve as locations and subject matter for films…
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Cinema & City
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"Cinema & City"

Download file to see previous pages Thus the first cinematic clip was that of a city. Cinematic images of cities shed light on the past and future of urban spaces the crises and sensations of the inhabitants of the city are projected through cinema's endless capacity to contrast the urban and corporal (Barber, 2002)
Wim Wenders' 'Der Himmel 'ber Berlin /Wings of Desire' (1987) and Tom Tykwer's 'Lola rennt/Run Lola Run' (1998) are two films which showcase the city of Berlin. The former portrays the divided Berlin of the cold-war era and the latter the modern city after the reunification of Germany and its capital.
The city of Berlin possesses a unique history which has always been entwined with European history. At the start of the twentieth century Berlin desired to replace Paris and London as the leading European metropolis and become the cultural capital of Europe. After Hitler's coming to power, it became the place where the destiny of millions of people was decided. This era of Berlin's history is its most shameful and old Berliner's have tried to erase this period from their city and memory both. After the Second World War the devastated city was separated into East and West Berlin and thus became a unique place where communism and capitalism were confronting each other. The icon of the division, the Berlin Wall, was erected in 1961, and was dismantled in 1989, which smoothed the way for reuniting Germany in 1990. In 1991 Berlin was named the capital of the new unified state of Germany. Nowadays Berlin has changed drastically and claims to be the city of the future and is known all over the world for its ambitious architectural projects and bold decisions in urban planning. It has re-invented itself a dozen times and continues to do. The new city of Berlin is a symbol of defeat of both communism and its Nazi past and hope and development for the future.
Berlin and cinema
Berlin is also famous as a city from the point of view of its various world famous portrayals in text and film, starting with 'Berlin: Symphony of a Great City'(1927) by Walter Ruttmann and 'Alexanderplatz' by Alfred D'blin (1929) to the modern 'Wings of Desire' (1987) by Wim Wenders' and 'Run Lola Run' (1998) by Tom Tykwer's. Since the 1960's artists have arranged artworks and shows in the public areas of the city which criticized the cold war order and institutions, and later on the frantic attempt by the German regime to erase the past after fall of the Berlin Wall.
Portraying Berlin means looking at a city that has undergone remarkable changes over the last century in which an emperor was banished and a new republic was created then failed, being followed by a Nazi dictatorship ending up in Germany's division which has now been overcome, but, naturally left its scars. Additionally, capitals and their self-perception are of enormous importance to a nation's identity, which is especially true for Berlin, a city owning the status of a 'full-blown metropolis, unlike any other German city' (Clarke, 2006:151)
Since 1945 the film industry has put singular emphasis on screening a city's development, in chronological as well as in visual terms. Inversely a city itself can project a definite cinematic class which can be experienced in daily life. James Donald, in his sociology of the city imaginary, says that cinema has educated 'audiences across ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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