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Cinemati-city: 'The City that Never Rests' (1928) and multiple City Symphony Versions

Eva Hielscher (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
The 1920s’ city symphonies are generally studied as visualisations of modern urban theory, within the discourse on cinematic and urban experiences in the modern city and regarding self-reflexivity, reflecting on cinematicity via the (re-)presentation of the city. In contrast to these canonical readings of films such as MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA or RAIN, the discussion has failed to address the fact that various city symphonies exist(-ed) in multiple versions. In his conceptualization of cinema as the art of technological reproducibility and actual reproduction par excellence, Benjamin stresses the issue of identical copies, making the original artwork disappear. However, in the concrete film (re-)production, there are also disparate copies, including different release cuts, premiere versions as well as archival print variants. By these, the (re-)presentation of the city varies. Different versions imply different cityscapes. This paper focuses on THE CITY THAT NEVER RESTS (1928), one of the lesser-known city symphonies about Rotterdam that has survived in several variations, and discusses the impact of the different versions on the (re-)presented cityscape(s), on the relationship between filmic and urban space and on the idea of cinematicity. How does cinema think the city in multiple city symphony versions, generating transformative senses of cinemati-city?
Keywords
interwar period, city symphonies, cinematic city, Rotterdam, multiple versions, Deleuze, city films

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Hielscher, Eva. 2014. “Cinemati-city: ‘The City That Never Rests’ (1928) and Multiple City Symphony Versions.” In RGS Conference 2014: Geographies of Co-Production, Abstracts.
APA
Hielscher, E. (2014). Cinemati-city: “The City that Never Rests” (1928) and multiple City Symphony Versions. RGS Conference 2014: Geographies of Co-Production, Abstracts. Presented at the RGS Conference 2014: Geographies of Co-Production.
Vancouver
1.
Hielscher E. Cinemati-city: “The City that Never Rests” (1928) and multiple City Symphony Versions. RGS Conference 2014: Geographies of Co-Production, Abstracts. 2014.
MLA
Hielscher, Eva. “Cinemati-city: ‘The City That Never Rests’ (1928) and Multiple City Symphony Versions.” RGS Conference 2014: Geographies of Co-Production, Abstracts. 2014. Print.
@inproceedings{5963354,
  abstract     = {The 1920s{\textquoteright} city symphonies are generally studied as visualisations of modern urban theory, within the discourse on cinematic and urban experiences in the modern city and regarding self-reflexivity, reflecting on cinematicity via the (re-)presentation of the city. In contrast to these canonical readings of films such as MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA or RAIN, the discussion has failed to address the fact that various city symphonies exist(-ed) in multiple versions. In his conceptualization of cinema as the art of technological reproducibility and actual reproduction par excellence, Benjamin stresses the issue of identical copies, making the original artwork disappear. However, in the concrete film (re-)production, there are also disparate copies, including different release cuts, premiere versions as well as archival print variants. By these, the (re-)presentation of the city varies. Different versions imply different cityscapes.
This paper focuses on THE CITY THAT NEVER RESTS (1928), one of the lesser-known city symphonies about Rotterdam that has survived in several variations, and discusses the impact of the different versions on the (re-)presented cityscape(s), on the relationship between filmic and urban space and on the idea of cinematicity. How does cinema think the city in multiple city symphony versions, generating transformative senses of cinemati-city?},
  author       = {Hielscher, Eva},
  booktitle    = {RGS Conference 2014: Geographies of Co-Production, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {London, UK},
  title        = {Cinemati-city: 'The City that Never Rests' (1928) and multiple City Symphony Versions},
  year         = {2014},
}