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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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Observational Landscaping*

Observational Landscaping*

(p.43) Chapter Three Observational Landscaping*
Documenting Cityscapes

Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the “observational landscaping” film—whose minimalist mise-en-scène is exclusively limited to looking at and listening to landscape. The laconic mise-en-scène of observational landscaping can document a place, convey its subjective experience, and draw attention to the uses and abuses of the territory where it is located. In these films, the frame is always the mediator between landscape, filmmaker, and audience: its composition determines the audience's experience of the landscape and also echoes the filmmaker's experience while filming it. Hence, observational landscaping offers a blend of explicit objectivity—because the audience directly looks at the landscape—and implicit subjectivity—because the audience is placed in the filmmaker's position.

Keywords:   landscape film, observational landscaping, mise-en-scène, explicit objectivity, implicit subjectivity, composition

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