“As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.”
– Albert Camus
“I don’t know what London’s coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.”
– Noel Coward
“But cities aren’t like people; they live on and on, even though their reason for being where they are has gone downriver and out to sea.”
The next LUC Briefing will be on the subject of: War
i. The Lost City Of Demille
From the Independent:
‘When the shoot was complete, rather than dismantle and remove the set, the director ordered it to be knocked down, buried and abandoned to the elements. Mr Cardozo showed Mr Brosnan a passage from DeMille’s posthumously published autobiography: “If, 1,000 years from now, archaeologists happen to dig beneath the sands of Guadalupe, I hope they will not rush into print with the amazing news that Egyptian civilisation … extended all the way to the Pacific coast of North America.”’
ii. Shanghai tower climb
If you are slightly nervy about heights and risky behaviour then you might want to give this extreme urban exploration video filmed in and above the chinese mega city a swerve – or use it as some kind of exposure therapy. Don’t try this at home (if you live on a crane half a mile in the air).
“The city will soon be built faster than a man can travel”
iv. Metropolis II
Metropolis II is a kinetic sculpture by Chris Burden – it took four years to build. When it was finished the manager of the local Toys R Us cried bitter, bitter tears.
v. Neo Tokyo
From the Akira Wiki:
“Neo-Tokyo is situated on an enormous, man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The city was built sometime after the end of the Third World War, and is described as a booming, industrial city with the atmosphere of a collapsing one.
As of 2019, the population is 21,451,800 and the total area of the city is 410.32 km2. This would make Neo-Tokyo the most densely-populated city in the world after the original city. Neo-Tokyo is situated right next to the ruins of old Tokyo, which seems mostly derelict.”
vi. 20 Great Films Where One Of The Main Characters Is A City
From the Taste Of Cinema web site:
“The films listed rely on the narrative space and its geographical and sociological specifications. The plots of these films are formed by numerous references to the spatial and temporal phase in which the story is taking place.”
vii. Wadjda – the film that had to be directed via walkie talkie
From a BFI article listing ten great films about Women and The City:
“Wadjda is set in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia – a city where women are not permitted to walk un-chaperoned or uncovered in the streets. These restrictions meant that the film’s director, Haifaa Al-Mansour, had to resort to instructing her cast and crew via walkie-talkie, from inside a van. All 10-year-old Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) wants is a bicycle; getting one is a race against time, as she won’t be able to ride it when she grows into a woman.
Wadjda is one of the first feature films ever to be shot in Saudi Arabia, and it’s also the first film ever to be made by a Saudi woman. The film – both the conditions of its making and its story – demonstrates the reality that cities aren’t always open to everyone, but that this situation might one day change.”
viii. Vancouver never plays itself
Vancouver can double for just about anywhere as demonstrated by this excellent short film from Every Frame A Painting:
“One of the best ways to disguise Vancouver is to film at night in shallow focus. This is to avoid pulling a ‘Rumble in The Bronx’ where they pointed the camera north and you could clearly see the mountains”