The Cinematic City circa 1968Edited by Mark Shiel
Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the worldwide mass protest movements of 1968—against war, imperialism, racism, poverty, misogyny, and homophobia—the exciting anthology Architectures of Revolt explores the degree to which the real events of political revolt in the urban landscape in 1968 drove change in the attitudes and practices of filmmakers and architects alike.
In and around 1968, as activists and filmmakers took to the streets, commandeering public space, buildings, and media attention, they sought to re-make the urban landscape as an expression of utopian longing or as a dystopian critique of the established order. In Architectures of Revolt, the editor and contributors chronicle city-specific case studies from Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Chicago to New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Tokyo. The films discussed range from avant-garde and agitprop shorts to mainstream narrative feature films. All of them share a focus on the city and, often, particular streets and buildings as places of political contestation and sometimes violence, which the medium of cinema was uniquely equipped to capture.
Contributors include: Stephen Barber, Stanley Corkin, Jesse Lerner, Jon Lewis, Gaetana Marrone, Jennifer Stob, Andrew Webber and the editor.
"(An) often insightful collection of academic essays look at the cinematic portrayal of nine cities in relation to the political protests of 1968...(T)his collection will yield some enriching gems of scholarship to the serious film scholar." —Publishers Weekly
"Mark Shiel has skillfully assembled a variety of essays, which collectively explore the urban-based political events of the time and the accompanying changes in the cinematic art form.... (T)he anthology as a whole is an excellent chronicle of the rebellious spirit of youth in the late 1960s and their protests in urban spaces and the accompanying changes in the art of cinema.... Architectures of Revolt is a stimulating tour of protest at a pivotal point in the 20th century and the filmic reactions to it on four continents.... The book makes one think, which, in the end, is what one hopes from an anthology of this type. Mark Shiel delivers." — Journal of Urban Affairs
"Although studies of art and politics and their many intersections in the late 1960s abound, editor Mark Shiel’s collection, Architectures of Revolt , is unique in its geographical scope. The variety of cities examined in the eight essays are a testament to 1968’s ongoing importance on a global scale.... (T)his collection is a persuasive and illuminating addition to studies of the interconnections among the social, political, cinematic and architectural movements of that tumultuous, ever-prescient year.... (W)ell-written and often provocative."—Film International
" The concept for this volume is brilliant, and Shiel's execution is stunning. Architectures of Revolt comprises essays that address the relationship between cinema, the city, and architecture in the pivotal year 1968. Paris, Milan, Berlin, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Tokyo are all examined through this lens. What makes this collection work so well is the editor's guiding hand. Shiel made sure that the essays all speak to each other rather than simply adhere to a rough theme (as in so many edited works).... The contributors utilize well-known films of 1968 (e.g., Midnight Cowboy, Medium Cool, Zabriskie Point ) but also rarely seen films of those who used collective revolutionary means in documenting and distributing their works.... Summing Up: Essential." —Choice
"Architectures of Revolt is a ground-breaking account that explores and records the dynamics between filmmaking, architecture (as material manifestation of power and control) and the design/production of (urban) space in and around May 1968.... (The essays) deliver a varied and highly informative account of the dynamics between urbanism, socio-political events and cinematic art form."—Urban Studies