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Catalan city cinema

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This article analyses Ventura Pons’s cinematic adaptation of Sergi Belbel’s play Carícies/Caresses in the context of theoretical discussions of the depiction of urban space (especially David Clarke’s differentiation between ‘visuality’ and ‘hapticality’ in cinema and Michel de Certeau’s opposition of the ‘voyeur’ and the ‘walker’ in the city) and Henri Lefebvre’s thesis on ‘absolute’ and ‘abstract’ spaces developed in his The Production of Space (1974). In the light of these debates, the study offers a reading of Carícies as a portrait of contemporary urban malaise, but also discusses the way that a fascinating articulation of nostalgia emerges, towards the end of the film, from the principal theme of urban violence. Finally, this discussion of Pons’s city chronicle locates Carícies within the context of a familiar theme in Iberian culture as a whole, the portrayal of the country and the city.
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Keywords: Catalan cinema; Ventura Pons; country and city; nostalgia; urban space; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Exeter

Publication date: 03 March 2003

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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