As the camera differs from the human eye in that it sees and records elements invisible to human vision, then can the film not be considered as a decoding tool and thus facilitate a better understanding of the City? I will answer this question by taking up the opposition between film and the human eye developed by Jean-Louis Comolli in the book “Perspectives on the City” and focusing on the role of cinema in indicating the bustle of the City. The exhibition "Paris in the movies” showcased the substantial physical presence of Paris in both French and foreign films; I am interested in examining how film and city can influence each other.
Using the book “A New Art”, the works of Charles Perraton and Francois Jost, and the “City at a Glance” by Althabe Gerard and Jean-Louis Comolli, I will attempt to examine the traces of the presence of the City, at any given time, in cinema. I will also discuss the impact of the presence of the City on cinema as well as the representation of other disciplines (Art etc.) in the city. I will also discuss the idea of influence in the opposite direction, that is, to examine whether the City could influence cinema.
According to Jean-Louis Comolli, author of ‘Perspectives on the City’, "the city is one of the filmmakers or the planners or architects." He said the history of cinema is part of the general history of the West; the last chapter is about the abandonment of the human dimension in terms of the digital representation of the world. According to the author, this explains why the film is considered a tool of thought. Through his works, the film has tested the relationship between power and light.
Jean-Louis Comolli compares the view of the camera than the human eye. He said the camera lens called a monocular, is completely different from human vision. Jean-Louis Comolli, differentiating between the work of filmmaker and architect, determined that the former has a definite plan, give the illusion of depth while the latter should bring relief to a plan.
The camera lens imposes a centered viewpoint and is partly governed by the laws of perspective that can restore binocular vision. These laws are the plans of a building in which the camera operator builds the illusion of depth. The author encourages mistrust regarding the fact of talking about "look" of the cinema. Indeed the look of the film is not that of the human eye but it awakens in our eyes questions. The eye of the camera is another point of view that man must acquire. The author gives the example of anamorphic models used in film studio houses or streets in the event that real prospects are not met.
With comparisons between the camera lens and the human eye, developed by Jean-Louis Comolli in the first pages of his work, it can be concluded that the urban space, like any set, can only be seen by the film as observed by a passerby or a walker.
Tags: Jean-Louis Comolli, ‘Perspectives on the City’, understanding of the City
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