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Edward Soja’s postmetropolis: A contemporary urban phenomenon as seen in Latin American cinema

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This article presents a survey of some of the most recent theories in the fields of cinema and the city. A series of Latin American movies have been analysed from the perspective of urban space, with special attention to Edward Soja’s notion of ‘postmetropolis’. Contemporary filmmakers capture cities like Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City as spaces in transition, deeply fragmented and made from layers of previous cityscapes. Finally, I revisit the idea of cinema as a way of life, drawing from Louis Wirth’s essay ‘Urbanism as a way of life’, and of cinematisation of social life by Gilles Lipovetsky and Jean Serroy.
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Keywords: Latin American cinema; cinema as a way of life; city and cinema; postmetropolis; projected cities; urban space

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universidade da Coruña

Publication date: 01 July 2017

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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