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Documenting CityscapesUrban Change in Contemporary Non-Fiction Film$
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Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231174534

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231174534.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

Autobiographical Landscaping

Autobiographical Landscaping

(p.87) Chapter Five Autobiographical Landscaping
Documenting Cityscapes

Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the “autobiographical landscaping” film, which develops a personal reading of the territory based on the filmmaker's own experiences of it. The images are accompanied by a first-person commentary that makes an explicit link between the filmmaker and the landscape. In these films, the depicted space is always a lived space, whose current appearance allows filmmakers to return to the cities they knew at a particular time of their life. The ultimate purpose of this type of landscaping is the same as that of urban self-portraits—the device discussed in the second part of this book—but its main formal strategy is still the direct record of the cityscape. Accordingly, autobiographical landscape films never include reenactments, archival footage or the filmmaker's on-camera presence, because their main subject is space itself rather than urban change, the passage of time, or the filmmaker's memory.

Keywords:   autobiographical landscaping, first-person commentary, cityscape, landscape films, autobiographical landscape films

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