ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 3 Issue 3
Cover Date: September 2016
Re-thinking cinema and the city in crisis: Film, narrative agency and urban transformation in selected recent publications
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Authors:  Mark Schmitt 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.3.3.373_1

urban crisis and transformation,cinema as spatial medium,social marginalization and precarity,space and (non)human agency,new materialism,posthumanism

This article compares three recent publications, which engage with questions of urban transformation in times of economic and social crisis in global film. Although the three publications consider a heterogeneous corpus of films, they share a sensibility for the intricate interrelationship between the medium of cinema and urban space, especially in connection to social marginalization and urban degeneration. This article examines the underlying assumption of these publications that film is a spatial medium, which not only representationally captures urban transformations, but also partakes in them. By challenging notions of narrative agency, film can likewise explore one-sided notions of agency and urban space, extending the scope beyond the primacy of human agency and considering non-human forms of agency. The three publications and the films they explore are thus expressive of a posthuman and new materialist sensibility in the study of urban space.
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