The city has flourished since the birth of industrialization. From the satanic mills of Victorian Manchester to the unbounded favelas sprouting up around São Paulo, the story of the city has been an inexorable rise. With half of the world’s populace now living in urbanised communities, a figure predicted to increase to 75% within the next half century, there has never been a more apt time to look into the changing face of metropolitan life.
To accompany Constructing Worlds, the Barbican is running a series of films, talks and debates exploring cinema’s relationship to the city. Sponsored by the Brazilian Embassy and partner with Guardian Cities, the wide-ranging programme offers international perspectives on the urban experience.
The season opens on 25 September with the London première of Cathedrals of Culture . Wim Wenders – whose own films have stunningly used architectural sites like the Empire State Building and Berlin’s Staatsbibliothek – has commissioned six filmmakers to capture six iconic buildings. It will be followed on the 26th with a live debate with the title Are Cities Good for Us? , featuring Leo Hollis, Alastair Donald and others.
Later in the seven-week long programme, you’ll find silent classics including Walter Ruttman’s groundbreaking Berlin City Symphony (27 September) and Dziga Vertov’s dizzying Man With A Movie Camera (2 October), both with musical accompaniment. Jean-Luc Godard ’s obtuse essay-film masterpiece Two Or Three Things I Know About Her plays on 27 Sept, while seasoned favourites including La Haine, Love in the Afternoon, Mulholland Drive, Manhattan and Do the Right Thing all have an outing. Last year’s hugely acclaimed A Touch of Sin, from Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke, plays on 30 Sept. Documentary-lovers will be equally sated – Cairo Drive , an account of recent Egyptian history through the eyes of motorists, is an enlightening portrait of a metropolis. Calle Lopez, a poetic look at the bustle of Mexico City, will be screened for the first time. Prepare to be stimulated: a diverse range of speakers will introduce the films, including writer Bonnie Greer, novelist Amit Chaudhuri and chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
|What||City Visions, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
25 Sep 14 – 09 Nov 14, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican|