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Cornell University    
  Jan 19, 2018
Courses of Study 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AMST 3812 - [Edge Cities: Celluloid New York and Los Angeles]

(crosslisted) PMA 3441 , VISST 3812  
Spring. Next offered 2016-2017. 3 credits.

S. Haenni, M. Woods.

Anchoring the east and west coasts, New York and Los Angeles have been celebrated and excoriated in films. On the edge literally and metaphorically, these cities seem to be about competing visions of urban form, culture, and modernity. And the iconic forms of New York (tenements and skyscrapers) and of Los Angeles (highways and suburban homes) have fascinated film makers from the 19th century to the present day. We will both evoke and complicate the contrast between New York and Los Angeles by mapping the intersections of each city with cinema. We explore how the urban experience has been said to give rise to particular cinematic forms and the ways in which cinematic styles may be translated into urban design. Topics may include density and sprawl; place and creativity; class and ethnicity; race and gender; culture and commercialism; industrial and media economies; and insularism and cosmopolitanism. Screenings will include documentary, experimental, and commercial films and cover such genres as early actualities, city symphonies, film noir, science fiction, etc. Readings will be drawn from theories and histories of film, urbanism, and architecture. Possible field trips.

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