This module explores how economic reorganisation of the city since the late 1960s has impacted on the production, distribution and mise-en-scene of Hollywood cinema. While there is significant literature in economic geography on post-Fordist changes in the film industry, this module aims to link the interconnected restructuring of the US city and film industry with visual, aesthetic and narrative developments in urban cinema. Throughout, we will focus on how new trends in on-location shooting, technical innovations (with regard to sound, lighting, digital animation, lighter equipment and so on) and changes in the distribution of film (TV, video and online) have resulted in novel modes of representing the city. Particular emphasis will be placed on close readings of individual films or genres that explore the changing occupational class structure of post-Fordist cities (yuppie, gheto and gentrification films as well as corporate and legal thrillers for example) or the identity politics associated with new urban social movements (feminist cinema, New Queer Cinema, representations of race).
Lecture themes will include:
Cinema and space
The economic geography of Hollywood
Urban branding and the politics of on-location shooting
The vigilante and the city
Feminism and spectatorship
Cinema and identity politics: contested representations
The corporate thriller and transnational space
The hedonistic city
The financial crisis in film
This module will nclude compulsory film screenings.
Module assessment - more information
Film review 30%