Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 9, No 1 (2020)

Mass Media and the postmodern urban experience. From Metropolis to Blade Runner; from cinema to virtual reality


https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2020.002

Luis Miguel Lus Arana
Universidad de Zaragoza. Escuela de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Spain
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5826-2642

Abstract


Since their inception in the XIX Century, mass media have been crucial in shaping the image of the urban environment on our collective subconscious. In the early 20th Century, newspapers and magazines bustled with exacerbated but fascinating images of the city of the future, which appeared as hyperbolic portrayals of the perception that the contemporary citizen had of his own effervescing modern environment. Cinema soon joined this process, as a privileged, mechanical eye that could record, analyse and reinvent the accelerated modern city and its evolution. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1926) epitomized the powers of the new medium, providing the viewers with a window that allowed them to see this Lacanian Other come alive, somehow encapsulating their own experience of the new urban reality. Over half a century later films such as Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) took the torch as fictional future representations of postmodern space that provided the postmodern citizen with a suitably hyper-real substitute of reality. Three decades after that, the videogames and virtual reality experiences based on those very films promise to break the final barrier, allowing us to cross to the other side of the membrane, and freely move through that which is, literally, an augmented reality.

Keywords


Videogames; Cyberpunk; Science Fiction; Alien; Simulation; Schizophrenia

Full Text:


HTML PDF XML

References


Atkins, Barry (2000) “Replicating the Blade Runner”. In The Blade Runner Experience: The Legacy of a Science Fiction Classic, edited by Brooker, Will. Columbia University Press, New York: 79-91.

Batchelor, James (2014) “18 things we learned about Alien: Isolation last night”. Develop, 13 February 2014. https://www.mcvuk.com/development/18-things-we-learned-about-alien-isolation-last-night. [accessed 17/April/2018]

Benson, Paula (2016) “Essential viewing for Blade Runner fans: An atmospheric tour of Deckard’s apartment”. Film and Furniture July 1, 2016: http://filmandfurniture.com/2016/07/blade-runner-deckard-apartment-tour/. [accessed 17/April/2018]

Bogdanovich, Peter (1997) Who The Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Bolter, Jay David and Grusin, Richard (1999) Remediation: Understanding New Media. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Borges, Jorge Luis (1949) “Abenjacán el Bojarí, muerto en su laberinto”. In El Aleph. Losada, Buenos Aires.

Bruno, Giulliana (1987) “Ramble City: Postmodernism and Blade Runner”. In October nº 41. Summer 1987. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass: 65-66.

Bulluck, Vic (1982) “Author Philip K. Dick (last interview before his death)”. In Blade Runner Souvenir Magazine, edited by Friedman, Ira. Volume 1. Ira Friedman, Inc., New York.

Buñuel, Luis (1927) “Metrópolis”. In La Gaceta Literaria no. 9. May 1, 1927: 6.

Calhoon, Kenneth Scott (2001) Peripheral Visions: The Hidden Stages of Weimar Cinema. Wayne State University Press, Detroit.

Chapman, James and Cull, Nicholas J. (2013) “Dry Future: Just Imagine (1930)”. In Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema (I.B. Tauris, London; New York.

Collins, Karen (2013) Playing with Sound: A Theory of Interacting with Sound and Music in Video Games. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Corn, Joseph J. and Horrigan, Brian (1984): Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past visions of the American future. Summit Books, Washington; Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, New York.

Davis, Mike (1992) “Beyond Blade Runner: Urban Control – The Ecology of Fear”. Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, no. 23. Open Media, Westfield, NJ.

Delson, James (1979) “Alien from the Inside Out”. Fantastic Films, November 1979: 21-31 / 58-59.

Dimendberg, Edward (2004) “Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity”. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Doel, Marcus A. and Clarke, David B. (1999) “From Ramble City to the screening of the eye. Blade Runner, death and symbolic exchange”. In The Cinematic City, edited by Clarke, David. B. Routledge, London and New York.

Donnelly, Kevin J. (1997) The Spectre of Sound: Music in Film and Television. British Film Institute, London.

Edwards, Graham (2014) “Roger Christian – Lightsabers and Space Tugs”. Cinefex Blog, March 14, 2014. http://cinefex.com/blog/roger-christian-lightsabers-space-tugs/. [accessed 17/April/2018]

Flisfeder, Matthew (2017) “Techno-space, Simulation and The Hyperreal”. In Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner, Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, London.

Gault, Vincent (2017) “Blade Runner 9732 VR Project: How one guy did it with substance”. In Allegorithmic.com, November 17, 2017. https://www.allegorithmic.com/blog/blade-runner-9732-vr-project-how-one-guy-did-it-substance. [accessed 17/April/2018]

Gelikman, Oleg (2013) “Eisenstein’s Line: The Old and the New or Modernism as Meta-Politics». In Film and Literary Modernism, edited by McParland, Robert. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Gibson, William (1989) “Introduction”. In William Gibson’s Neuromancer: The Graphic Novel, by De Haven, Tom; Jensen, Bruce. Epic Comics, New York.

Gibson, William and Loud, Lance (1992) “Blade Runner”. Details, October 1992.

Graf, Alexander (2007) “Paris, Berlin, Moscow. On the Montage Aesthetic in the City Symphony Films of the 1920s”. In Avantgarde film, edited by Graf, Alexander; Scheunemann, Dietric. Rodopi, Amsterdam: 77-91.

Grant, Barry Keith (2003) Fritz Lang: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson.

Gunning, Tom (1988) “Primitive Cinema: A Frame Up? or The Trick’s On U”. Cinema Journal 29/2, Winter 1988-9: 3-12.

Gunning, Tom (1989) “An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator”. Art and Text no. 34, Spring 1989: 31-45.

Gunning, Tom (1995) “Astonishment: the (in)credulous spectator”. In Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film, edited by Williams, Linda. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, N.J.: 114-133.

Jacobsen, Wolfgang and Suddendorf, Werner (2000) Metrópolis: ein filmisches Laboratorium der modernen Architektur / A Cinematic Laboratory for Modern Architecture. Edition Axel Menges, Stuttgart.

Jameson, Fredric (1983) “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”. In The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, edited by Foster, Hal. Bay Press, Port Townsend: 111-25.

Jenkins, Henry (2004) “Game Design as Narrative Architecture”. In First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, edited by Wardrip-Fruin, Noah; Harrigan, Pat. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass: 118-30.

Kaes, Anton (1993) “Metropolis: City, Cinema, Modernity”. In Expressionist Utopias: paradise, metropolis, architectural fantasy, edited by Benson, Timothy O. Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Seattle; University of Washington Press, Los Angeles, California, Washington: 146-165.

Kaes, Anton (1996) “Sites of Desire: The Weimar Street Film”. In Film Architecture: Set Designs from Metropolis to Blade Runner, edited by Neumann, Dietrich. Prestel, Munich: 26–32.

Kasson, John F. (1978) Amusing the Millions: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century Hill & Wang, New York.

Kennedy, Harlan (1982) “Blade Runner: Ridley Scott Interviewed”. Film Comment, July-August 1982.

Kissel, Gerry (undated) “Syd Mead interviewed by Gerry Kissel for Blade Zone”. Blade Zone (online). https://media.bladezone.com/ contents/film/interviews/syd-mead/interview.html [accessed 17/April/2018]

Klein, Norman M. (1990) “Building Blade Runner”. In Social Text no. 28: 147-152

Knapp, Laurence F. and Kulas, A. (editors) (2005): Ridley Scott Interviews. Conversations with filmmakers series. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson.

Loiperdinger, Martin (2004) “Lumiere’s Arrival of the Train: Cinema’s Founding Myth”. The Moving Image 4:1: 89-118.

Marshall, Ernest (1929) “The Pros and Cons of Two British Talking Films Recently Presented Britain vs. America. High Treason.” Fantastic and Far-Fetched. Worthy Acoustic Qualities”. The New York Times, August 25, 1929: 4.

Munday, Rod “Music in Video Games”. In Music, Sound, and Multimedia: From the Live to the Virtual, edited by Sexton, Jamie. Music & the Moving Image Series. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh: 51-67.

N/A (2012) “What is and What Should Be: Soviet Constructivism on Film”. Architectural Review Asia Pacific nº 125: Architecture and the Arts (online). https://www.australiandesignreview.com/architecture/soviet-constructivism-on-film/. [accessed 17/April/2018]

Naha, Ed (1982) “An Artist with Designs on the Future”. Starlog Magazine no. 58, May 1982: 36-9.

Peary, Danny: “Directing Alien and Blade Runner: An Interview with Ridley Scott”. In Omni’s Screen Flights / Screen Fantasies, edited by Danny Peary. Dolphin, Garden City: 293-302.

Peignot, Jérome (1960) “De la musique concrète à l’acousmatique”. Esprit, no. 280: 111-23.

Puschack, Evan (2017) “Listening to Blade Runner” (YouTube video). Published on May 18, 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T_sSSka9pA. [accessed 17/April/2018].

Sammon, Paul M. (1996) Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. HarperPrism, New York.

Schafer, R. Murray (1969) The New Soundscape: a handbook for the modern music teacher. BMI Canada, Don Mills, Ontario.

Scholes, Robert (1979) Fabulation and Metafiction. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Shay, Don (1982) “Blade Runner. 2020 Foresight” Cinefex nº 9, July 1982: 7-71.

Simmel, George (1903) “The Metropolis and Mental Life”. In The Sociology of Georg Simmel, edited by Kurt H. Wolff (1950). Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois.

Soister, John T. (2004) Up from the Vault: Rare Thrillers of the 1920s and 1930s. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina.

Soister, John T. and Nicolella, Henry (2016) Down from the Attic: Rare Thrillers of the Silent Era through the 1950s. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina.

Sontag, Susan (1965) “The Imagination of Disaster”. Commentary Magazine, October 1965: 42-8.

Sontag, Susan (1977) On Photography. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.

Stern, Robert A.M.; Mellins, Thomas and Fishman, David (1995) New York 1960: architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. Monacelli Press, New York.

Stiller, Andrew (1991) “The Music in Blade Runner”. In Retrofitting Blade Runner, Issues in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, edited by Kerman, Judith. Bowling Green State University Popular Press, Madison, Wisconsin: 196-200.

Summers, Tim (2016) “Texturing and the Aesthetics of Immersion”. In Understanding Video Game Music. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 57-84.

Takahashi, Dean (2017) “Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab takes sci-fi fans into a VR experience”. Venture Beat (online), October 21, 2017. https://venturebeat.com/2017/10/21/blade-runner-2049-memory-lab-takes-sci-fi-fans-into-a-vr-experience/ [accessed 17/April/2018]

T.F. (2014) “Why video games are so expensive to develop.” The Economist explains (online). September 25 2014. https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2018/04/economistexplains-12. [accessed 17/April/2018]

Telotte, Jay P. (1999) A Distant Technology: Science Fiction Film and the Machine Age University Press of New England, Hanover.

Tieryas, Peter (2017) “Blade Runner Inspired Two Very Different Video Games”. Kotaku.com, Oct 10, 2017. https://kotaku.com/bladerunner- inspired-two-very-different-video-games-1797035426 [accessed 17/April/2018]

Ward, Janet (2001) Weimar Surfaces: Urban Visual Culture in 1920s Germany. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Wells, Herbert George (1927) “Mr. Wells Reviews a Current Film, Metropolis”. New York Times Magazine, April 17, 1927: 4, 22.

Whallen, Zach (2007) “Case Study: Film Music vs. Video Game Music: The Case of Silent Hill”. In Music, Sound and Multimedia, edited by Sexton, Jamie. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh: 68-81

Willis, Carol (1982) “The titan city: forgotten episodes in American architecture”. Skyline, October 1982: 26-7.

Willis, Carol (1986) “Skyscraper Utopias”. In Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology and the American Future, edited by Corn, Joseph J. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.: 119-136.




Copyright (c) 2020 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Contact: historia.digital@cchs.csic.es

Technical support: soporte.tecnico.revistas@csic.es