Painting the town green – From urban teleology to urban ecology in New York cinema, 1960-present
Author(s): Fletcher, Brady; Rankin, Cortland
New York City is perhaps the most iconic manifestation of urbanity in the 20th century. While the Manhattan skyline dominates the New York imaginary American cinema has also consistently qualified and complicated this architecturally-determined perspective by re-imagining the city in ecological terms. Over the past half-century many films set and largely produced in New York have deployed the imagery and metaphoricity of ecology to articulate urbanity, although in two distinct ways. We begin by tracing what we call an ‘urban teleology’ in which filmmakers re-envision the city in terms of the environmental conceits of wilderness and garden but from ideologically normative perspectives that privilege the managed urban sphere as the epitome of sociality. In contrast to this teleological model are cinematic experimentations that ‘re-inhabit’ urban space by foregrounding New York’s ‘urban ecology’. As such the second part of our article is concerned with how certain modes of cinema can re-orient or ‘queer’ notions of urbanity through the critical lens of ecology, thus cinematically ‘greening’ the city.
Fletcher, Brady; Rankin, Cortland: Painting the town green – From urban teleology to urban ecology in New York cinema, 1960-present. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 2 (2013), Nr. 1, S. 113–144. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/15076.
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