In 1920’s, the city became the subject of a number of landmark films that shaped the body of the cine city in important ways. These include Manhatta (1921), Metropolis (1926) and The Man with The Movie Camera (1929).

Looking at these panoramas form an architectural perspective, the city emerges both as something more than and something different form the mere objects of films. Here, metropolis and film interface as a distinctly modern production in which a correspondence between the city space and the film space, between the motion of the city and the moving image, exists. The machine of modernity that fabricated the city is also the “fabric” of film. The 1920’s, a period full of fluid exchange between architecture, created a nexus investing the actual mechanics of the bond.

The modern architectural model of film even came to be projected onto the architecture of the movie house itself.

As a view from the body, film is architecturally bound: sized to the body, experienced from life, architecture is haptically imaged and mobilized. Architecture is neither static structure not simply just built. Like all tangible artifacts, it is actually constructed – imaged – as it is manipulated. And like a film, architecture is built as is constantly negotiated by (e)motions, traverersed by the histories both of its inhabitants and its transient dwellers. Seen in this way, architecture reveals urban ties; the product of transactions, it bears the traces of urban (e)motion and its fictional scriptings. A relation is established between places and events that forms and transforms the narrative of a city: the city itself becomes imaged as narrative as sites are transformed by the sequence of movements of its traveler-dwellers. Film, a principal narrator of city space. Provides the very fictional dynamics of the urban text. As with all urban forms of traversal, its image-movement continually reinvents places as sites of narrative. Cities are filmic afterimages imprinted on our own spatial unconscious.

From Atlas of Emotions: Journeys in Art, Architecture and Film – Guliana Bruno 

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