Images of the city. Transformations in the time | Jorge Gorostiza

Imágenes de la ciudad. Transformaciones en el tiempo Jorge Gorostiza Gangs of New
Gangs of New

The cities, in spite of all his blemishes and disadvantages, are the most original, creation notable and typical of the human beings. It does not fit the minor doubt that today the life of our species on this planet might not understand without these built-up environments where we develop our lives.

The populations are like the alive organisms: they are born, grow and often they end up by disappearing, and this development is completely dynamic. The principal characteristic of the cinema, which him differs from other artistic manifestations, is evidently that of being able to reflect the movement, because of it it is this art of the 20th century the one that with major loyalty can show the evolution of the cities across the time.

The foundation of new populations has, first of all, an ancient and almost divine origin, but it is not an activity that has stopped and it had a bloom in the 19th century, when the Europeans invaded territories virgins who they did not concern, this foundation has been showed by the cinema in one of his original kinds, the western, and in movies as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.

It is not possible to forget that the cities also are constructed by the human groups that populate them and these in turn modify them with his activities and conflicts. New York is not an exception and this way appears in Gangs of New York, since there are showed the agglomerations and contradictions of the great Japanese metropolis in Tokyo-Ga and the multitudes, thanks to changing the normal speed into Koyaanisqatsi.


Transformations that when they are radical and violent, provoke in his citizens a new way of living, since in case of the warlike conflicts, something perfectly showed in Germany, year zero, which happens in one of the big cities of the 20th century, Berlin, object of interesting cinematographic looks, as that of Berlin symphony of a metropolis of 1927 as well as his recreation and reintepretation, Berlín Sinfonie einer Grosstadt, eighty five years later.

The daily destructions sometimes are more terrible than the wars, paradoxically demolishing to construct other buildings, in the called “urban renovations”, as the Barcelonian ones of In construction and to raise immense infrastructures, since in China the dam of three throats reflected in Still life and at the far end of the world, in Argentina, the city of Federation overwhelmed by another dam and turned many years later a tourist attraction showed in Construction of a city.

Las destrucciones cotidianas a veces son más terribles que las guerras, paradójicamente demoliendo para construir otras edificaciones, en las denominadas “renovaciones urbanas”, como las barcelonesas de En construcción y para levantar inmensas infraestructuras, como en China la presa de las tres gargantas reflejada en Naturaleza muerta y en el otro extremo del mundo, en Argentina, la ciudad de Federación anegada por otra presa y convertida muchos años después una atracción turística mostrada en Construcción de una ciudad.

The point of view of the creator on a city can be very personal and peculiar, since it happens to Basilio Martín Patino in Madrid and to Terece Davies with Liverpool in Of Time and the City, and even the filmmaker can assume the protagonism and be he itself who she proves to be his population, since he itself does Nani Moretti in Caro Diario, while it walks along Rome in motorcycle.

Finally the future, in what the cities will transform, something that has a great relation with the moment in which the movie was rolled, because of it Blade Runner has more parallelisms with the populations in the eighties, that with Los Angeles in 2019, without having lost an apex of his powerful visual force, which astonished all already twenty-seven years ago.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner

Before it was said that the cities grow, the agents who provoke his transformations are very varied, especially, the political and economic power; those who design them are the town planners, who have to plan this growth, let’s not forget it, subordinated always to the power before mentioned, and those who finally carry out them are the architects who design the buildings, neither let’s forget it, also subordinated, but in this case to the promoters and owners.

The problem is that, though the immense majority of the persons live and die in the cities, they have become accustomed to his urban environments and in few occasions they have the necessary time to think and to criticize something so fundamental as it is the place where his existence develops. This cycle is a good moment to discover, to analyze, to reflect and to discuss the cities, these original, constructions notable and typical of the human beings.

Jorge Gorostiza, PhD architect.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, juny 2009
Author of the blog Arquitectura+Cine+Ciudad

A brief text for the program that it edited Filmoteca Valenciana, in July, 2009.

Filed under: captures, cinema, Jorge Gorostiza

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