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Productions of Space / Places of Construction: Landscape and Architecture in Contemporary Latin American Film


Andermann, Jens (2017). Productions of Space / Places of Construction: Landscape and Architecture in Contemporary Latin American Film. In: D'Lugo, Marvin; López, Ana M; Podalsky, Laura. The Routledge Companion to Latin American Cinemas. London, 223-234.

Abstract

The very notion of “Latin American cinema” is predicated on a territorial imagination, one that implies not just a shared geography of production-a complex of national and regional territories from which this cinema harks-but also one that is being mapped out, surveyed, and inhabited by the moving image: a territory into which it invites its spectators. Tom Conley, studying the relationship between cinema and mapmaking, has suggested the notion of a “cartographic cinema” in order to explore the ways in which film (narrative as well as documentary) draws out and patterns an image of space, one that “can be understood in a broad sense to be a ‘map’ that plots and colonizes the imagination of the public” (Conley 2007: 1). Rather than the map (associated, I would argue, more with the territorial-that is, political and symbolic-organization of the diegesis), in what follows I aim to explore the notions of architecture and landscape as concepts that allow us to think about two different modes-sometimes antagonistic, sometimes complementary-of “plotting” screen space (for relations between screen and narrative space, see Heath 1981). Rather than on “representations” of architecture and landscape in Latin American cinema, then, I wish to reflect on how films lay claim to a place by way of constructing it through modes of framing and editing, as well as on the way in which the intricacy (the materiality and duration) of a locality inexorably takes on an agency of its own that dialogues with, or conspires against, these film-architectural forms of place-making (Lefebvre 2006). At the same time, landscape and architecture-as inscribed within a “cinematic cartography”— also point to opposite ends of a deep-rooted territorial imaginary, which pins “wild” or rural against urban and domestic locations, settings that, in the Latin American context, are often highly overdetermined in terms of “civilization and barbarism,” of authenticity and artifice, or of indigeneity and coloniality.

Abstract

The very notion of “Latin American cinema” is predicated on a territorial imagination, one that implies not just a shared geography of production-a complex of national and regional territories from which this cinema harks-but also one that is being mapped out, surveyed, and inhabited by the moving image: a territory into which it invites its spectators. Tom Conley, studying the relationship between cinema and mapmaking, has suggested the notion of a “cartographic cinema” in order to explore the ways in which film (narrative as well as documentary) draws out and patterns an image of space, one that “can be understood in a broad sense to be a ‘map’ that plots and colonizes the imagination of the public” (Conley 2007: 1). Rather than the map (associated, I would argue, more with the territorial-that is, political and symbolic-organization of the diegesis), in what follows I aim to explore the notions of architecture and landscape as concepts that allow us to think about two different modes-sometimes antagonistic, sometimes complementary-of “plotting” screen space (for relations between screen and narrative space, see Heath 1981). Rather than on “representations” of architecture and landscape in Latin American cinema, then, I wish to reflect on how films lay claim to a place by way of constructing it through modes of framing and editing, as well as on the way in which the intricacy (the materiality and duration) of a locality inexorably takes on an agency of its own that dialogues with, or conspires against, these film-architectural forms of place-making (Lefebvre 2006). At the same time, landscape and architecture-as inscribed within a “cinematic cartography”— also point to opposite ends of a deep-rooted territorial imaginary, which pins “wild” or rural against urban and domestic locations, settings that, in the Latin American context, are often highly overdetermined in terms of “civilization and barbarism,” of authenticity and artifice, or of indigeneity and coloniality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
470 Latin & Italic languages
410 Linguistics
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:05 Jan 2018 14:30
Last Modified:05 Jan 2018 14:30
ISBN:9781138855267
Related URLs:https://www.crcpress.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-World-Cinema/Stone-Cooke-Dennison-Marlow-Mann/p/book/9781138918801 (Publisher)
http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ebi01_prod011044756 (Library Catalogue)

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