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Documenting CityscapesUrban Change in Contemporary Non-Fiction Film$
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Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231174534

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231174534.001.0001

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Documentary Film at the Turn of the Century

Documentary Film at the Turn of the Century

Chapter:
(p.28) Chapter Two Documentary Film at the Turn of the Century
Source:
Documenting Cityscapes
Author(s):

Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231174534.003.0003

This chapter explores the development of contemporary documentary theory in the twenty-first century, beginning with the proliferation of documentary films in mainstream cinema and the portrayal of urban spatialities therein. Just as the cinematic city has traditionally been understood as a simple representation of its real counterpart, non-fiction film has also been regarded as a reflection of reality. This approach, however, has shifted in the last decades to the extent that nowadays most film theorists address documentary as a discourse on the real, a line of argument constructed from visual materials that ultimately expresses a point of view on the historical world. The documentary film provides the audience with a window to the historical world that is simultaneously an entrance to its inhabitants' mind, as it takes the viewer to a given time and place to make them understand its contemporary perception and socio-cultural connotations.

Keywords:   contemporary documentary theory, twenty-first century, documentary films, mainstream cinema, cinematic city, urban spatialities

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