Cinematic City (2014)

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Listening and watching the iPads (near Havengebouw)

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Presenting (near Havengebouw)

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Presenting, listening and watching the iPads (Nieuwmarkt metro station)

Our Master course Cinematic City is almost over. Like last year, our course was dedicated to Amsterdam film locations, mostly from the 1950s to our own times. Thanks to a pilot project in collaboration with KPN and Surfnet, and through the mediation of my colleague Sylvia Moes, innovation manager education, we had 4G internet connection all over town. Students could do field research with tablets (iPads on loan by KPN), and watch either film clips we offered them from our DVD collection, or consult databases such as photos on the Beeldbank Stadsarchief (the image data bank of the city archive) and the Nationaal Archief (national archive), and films and contextual information on the websites of Open Beelden (Open Images, site of Institute for Sound & Vision) and Film in Nederland (Film in the Netherlands, site of EYE). So students could watch and compare on location all of these sources with the real location, thus deepening their visual analysis of the city and its mediation, representation and reuse over time, in either newsreels, documentaries or fiction films. The fiction films regarded both Dutch and foreign films, from Wolfgang Staudte’s Ciske de Rat, Losey’s Modesty Blaise, Puppet on a Chain, and Tati’s Trafic, to Verhoeven’s Turks fruit, Maas’ Amsterdamned, Oesters van Nam Kee, De Heinekenontvoering and Ocean’s Twelve.

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Discusssion after the presentation (“Doelenbrug” or bridge 222, Kloveniersburgwal)

Locations ranged from classical, iconic sites loaded with (art) history such as the Oudezijdskolk and Magere Brug, to pre- and postwar modern architecture such as the Olympic Stadium by Wils, the Havengebouw by Dudok & Magnée, and the Europahal of the RAI, and even contested sites such as Dam square (the 7 May 1945 incident, the Damslapers, the yearly war remembrance, the coronations) and Nieuwmarkt metro station (with its art referring to the protests and demolitions of houses because of the building of the metro). The homefires were being kept burning weekly by blog posts reacting on field research, literature, lectures by prof. Koos Bosma, prof. Bert Hogenkamp and myself, and a guest lecture by prof. Steven Jacobs (University Ghent) on city symphonies. Next Tuesday the final presentations: I am looking forward.

Olympic Stadium marathon tower

Olympic Stadium with marathon tower


Havengebouw, pillar of the upper balcony

~ by Ivo Blom on May 15, 2014.

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