Urban Symphonies. Creating, Performing and Writing the Space in Cinema, Visual Arts and Literature
During the history of the cinema, cities and films have always been inspirational to oneanother. The city has been regarded as the “founding myth of cinema” and it has been its companion since the beginning of its history. The city has been not only a constant source of inspiration for the most important trends and movements throughout film history (Weimar city film, Expressionism, film noir, rubble war films, New Waves, auteurism, New realisms, Cold War science fiction and dystopian films, disaster movies etc) but also the very texture on which the cinematic space was woven. The artificial city from Neubabelsberg to the more recent Nollywood serves as a typical example of how film and city merge, blurring the boundaries between illusion and reality, and, in terms of production, becoming a symbol of a specific national cinema. The history of cinema has always been strongly connected to the urban development and representations and maintained its fascination with the urban landscape. Film has completely re-constructed our urban experience and rendered it uncanny.
On the other hand, rising from the primary points of the relationship between the artist, consciousness, and the social environment, the work of art- idea of an image-has the power to act upon this consciousness. Extremely eloquent for the individual/collective evolutions, narrating space also means re-establishing a coherent vision of a spiritual universe.
Ekphrasis welcomes papers which address the representations of the city in the visual arts, but also in literature, encouraging the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches. How it is performed the urban discourse in contemporary films? How did the city shape the history of cinema? What is the importance of the city narrative through film as compared to other mediums?
How the representations of the contemporary metropolis have changed in recent films, novels, and visual arts? And has this change been reflected in the recent cultural discourse about the urban transformations (particularly visible in Eastern European/Post-communist countries)? How can we interpret the return of a bleaker urban discourse as a chaotic space of violence, revolt, and inequalities (social, ethnic etc)? What is the meaning of this return of the dystopian perspective on the contemporary metropolis in recent visual/literary representations as site of social conflict and difference? How has the contemporary chaotic city-life inspired the new realistic turn in cinemas of the last decade? How has the post-communist city inspired the New Romanian Cinema?
Topics may include, but are not restricted to:
-Building the urban space in the history of cinema (the city film, street film, film noir, etc) and in recent films
-Experimental films and the city
-Narrating urban space
-Cityscape: frames, shapes, urban planning
-Mega-cities, globalization, future estates
-Dystopian fears, utopian visions
-Cities as sites of memory and nostalgia/Cities as timekeepers
-Urban crisis, chaos, violence
-Garden city/urban ecology
-Post-industrial city in the Eastern European cinema
-Imaginary cities in science fiction films/ cities of the future/ dream cities
-Cities and recent technologies
-Urban boundaries: ”planet of slums” vs fortified “privatopias”
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