Cinema and the City


Dr. Javier Sierra Sánchez, Complutense University of Madrid, ORCID
Dr. Samuel Martín-Barbero, Franklin University Switzerland, ORCID
Dr. Maria Antón-Barco, CEU San Pablo University, ORCID

Description of the Call for Papers:
Historically, the relationship between cinema and the city has served as a mirror to reflect and shape the understanding of urban spaces and their evolution. The city not only acts as a backdrop for cinematic narratives but often becomes a central character, rich in meaning and symbolism. This call for papers seeks to delve into how cinema, as an artistic and cultural medium, represents, interprets, and transforms the vision of cities and their communities.

Cinema has the power to influence our perception of the urban environment, highlighting aspects of urban life ranging from architecture and urban design to social and cultural phenomena. Through its lens, we can explore themes such as gentrification, urban identity, collective memory, and the interaction between the individual and public space. The cinematic representation of the city not only reflects existing realities but can also anticipate future urban and social transformations.

We are looking for papers that explore the synergy between cinema and the city from multiple angles and disciplines. We are interested in analyses that address how cinema uses the city as a canvas for storytelling, how it captures and contributes to urban aesthetics, and how it can be a tool for social commentary and critique. Articles may examine both historical and contemporary representations of the city in cinema, as well as futuristic and speculative projections.

This call is open to approaches ranging from specific case studies to theoretical and comparative analyses. We encourage researchers, academics, filmmakers, and professionals from related fields to submit papers that not only deepen the understanding of cinema and the city but also explore the possible interactions between these two vital elements of human expression and experience.

Topics of Interest:

  1. Architectural and Urban Representation in Cinema: This topic invites exploration of how cinema captures and represents architecture and the urban landscape. Papers may analyze how different architectural and urban styles are portrayed in films and how these elements contribute to the atmosphere, tone, and narrative of the work.

  2. Cinema as a Tool for Urban and Social Critique: This topic seeks to investigate how cinema is used to comment on and critique social and urban issues, such as gentrification, segregation, urban development, and social problems associated with city life. Papers may address how films reflect, question, or challenge urban realities.

  3. Interaction between Cinema, Street Art, and Urban Creativity: This topic focuses on the synergistic relationship between cinema and other forms of urban expression like street art. Articles may explore how cinema incorporates and dialogues with urban art, or how both influence the perception and transformation of urban space.

  4. Fictional Cities and Production Design in Cinema: This topic examines how fictional cities and imaginary urban worlds are created and used in cinema. It will analyze the role of production design in constructing these spaces, as well as their narrative and symbolic significance.

  5. Impact of Cinema on the Perception and Use of Urban Space: This topic investigates how cinematic representations of cities affect how the public perceives and uses real urban spaces. Papers may explore cases where specific films have influenced the public image of cities or led to changes in tourism or urban planning.

  6. Urban Narratives and Identity Construction in Cinema: This topic focuses on how urban stories in cinema contribute to the construction and understanding of individual and collective identities. Papers may analyze how cinema reflects, shapes, or challenges identities associated with certain urban spaces.

  7. Emerging Technologies in Cinematic Representation of the City: This topic explores new technologies and techniques (such as virtual reality, CGI, drones) in representing cities in cinema. Articles may examine how these technologies change the way urban spaces are visualized and experienced in cinema.

  8. Case Studies of Cities Represented in Films: This topic invites detailed studies of how specific cities have been represented in films. Papers may focus on a particular city and explore how its image, history, and culture have been captured and transformed through the cinematic lens.

  9. The Influence of Cinema on the Development and Transformation of Real Cities: Exploration of how specific films have impacted the image and urban development of real cities.

  10. The Role of Cinematography in Creating Urban Atmospheres: Analysis of the use of light, color, and image composition in constructing urban environments in cinema.

  11. City and Cinematic Genre: Research on how different cinematic genres (such as noir, sci-fi, drama, etc.) represent and utilize urban space.

  12. Cinema as a Historical Archive of the City: Study of how cinema documents urban, architectural, and social changes over time.

  13. The Interaction between Cinema and Modern and Postmodern Architecture: Analysis of the representation and critique of modern and postmodern architecture in cinema.

  14. Cinema as a Tool for Urban Regeneration and Tourism: Exploration of cases where cinema has been used as a means to revitalize urban areas and attract tourism.

  15. The City as a Character in Cinema: Research on films where the city plays a central role, almost as a character, influencing the narrative and the interaction of the characters.

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 April.
Notification of abstract acceptance: 30 April.
Deadline for submission of full papers: 15 June.
Notification of review results: 30 September.