People On Sunday 2010

Joint SUMMER SCHOOL of the UCLA Film School and the ifs internationale filmschule köln

Filming a City

Prof. Lisa Gotto: Lecture, June 23, 11:45 am – 1 pm.

Every city is constructed, conventionally created by us. It does not exist as a clear cut container, rather it is the product of a way of putting things together. Look at a door, a building, a facade or a road sign; listen to steps, a shout or a car engine: these random sensory impressions are the things of the city. Thus, if we think of the city, we imagine space as directly lived through its associated images and symbols. But what does it mean for the camera to enter this kind of space? When the camera lays its eye on the city, it is preoccupied with the visions and the cultural dynamics of signs, objects and their signification in urban areas. And even more than that: The camera overlays physical space. It does not only make symbolic use of its objects, it is also able to detect what has been previously unseen.

Film does not just circulate images and sounds – it constitutes new subjects and subjectivities. It does not only show things or bring them to optical consciousness, but it opens up hitherto unperceived modes of sensory perception and experience. And by doing so, film becomes able to suggest a different organization of the daily world.

The lecture suggests that we should not think of the city as some kind of pre-existing core which comes to be rendered on screen. Rather, we should be aware of the complexity of urban-filmic interdependencies. This kind of complexity is everything from an actual location to an imaginary part of cultural memory. It is everything from cinematography to cartography. Since symbolic systems of signification direct our experiences and understanding of reality, cinema provides the map for exploring the city – a map which is so detailed that it covers the territory it represents.

Category: Academic Week


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June 2010
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    From the UCLA:
    Lucas Mireless, 2nd Year Director
    Iliana Sosa, Director
    Jeanne Tyson, 3rd Year Director of Photography
    Leigh Underwood, 2nd Year Director of Photography
    Ryan Slattery, Producer

    From the ifs:
    Nancy Mac Granaky-Quaye, Director
    Johannes F. Sievert, Director
    Christopher Becker, Producer

    From the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts:
    Nina Frey, Director of Photography
    Jens Nolte, Director of Photography

    'Making Of' of the Project:
    Paul Pieck
    Nicole Schmeier


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