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This chapter will use A Propos de Nice, filmed by Jean Vigo and Boris Kaufman in February and March 1930, as a case study to illustrate how city films created segmented…
This chapter will use A Propos de Nice, filmed by Jean Vigo and Boris Kaufman in February and March 1930, as a case study to illustrate how city films created segmented views of quotidian urban life in both form and content. In terms of form, short clips are juxtaposed in a rapid montage to form a segmented portrait of the city. In terms of content, the segments in Vigo's film, and the city film genre as a whole, are full of everyday events such as drinking coffee, washing clothes, sunbathing, and playing boules. The portrait of Nice that emerges within the film, then, is one of quotidian segmentation. This chapter will conduct a visual analysis of the film as it progresses, situating it within the history of Nice, cinematic conceptions of the city prior to its production, the city film genre, and the French avant-garde.
This volume of Research in Urban Sociology derives from the conference ‘Everyday life in the segmented city’ held in July 2010 in Florence, and is composed of a selection…
This volume of Research in Urban Sociology derives from the conference ‘Everyday life in the segmented city’ held in July 2010 in Florence, and is composed of a selection of papers originally presented on this occasion. Starting from the epochal assumption that for the first time in human history the majority of the world's population lives in urban environment, the conference gathered a set of presentations dealing with issues of global urbanization, showing a multiplicity of approaches and points of view which we tried to preserve within the limits of this publication. Urbanization is a phenomenon inscribed into globalization process with enormous consequences in the transformation of urban space and the everyday life of citizens: a dynamics which is reflected also in a flourishing analytical discourse that increasingly transcends the boundaries of established urban disciplines. The progressive extension of the urban domain beyond the limits of the city, and across diverse scales, has its corollary in the progressive segmentation of the urban dimension along multiple lines of material, social, economic, cultural and ethnic nature. Here we have chosen the perspective of the everyday to analyse how practices and policy can overcome the spin towards fragmentation and anomy and reinforce social cohesion for a more just and liveable city, endorsing the ‘right to the city’ as postulated by the seminal work of Henri Lefebvre. Although not specifically focused on his work, this collection clearly reveals the fundamental influence of the French philosopher over the knowledge and critique of late modern spatial production (Lefebvre, 1991b), and the net of Lefebvre's concept which connect different papers constitutes an evident subtext to this volume of Research in Urban Sociology. The original structure of the conference foresaw five distinct thematic sections, entitled ‘Right to the city’, ‘Cinematic urbanism’, ‘Governance and planning’, ‘Re-appropriation of urban spaces,’ and ‘Suburbanization and post urban cities’. Ultimately, in composing this volume we decided not to adopt those thematic areas as distinct sections, as many papers demonstrated the interdependence of these topics, escaping a strong separation of the arguments. On the contrary, the five topics recur all along this volume as transversal issues connecting almost all contributions. In the Introduction we aim at retracing those connections, starting from the dialectic evocated by the title between ‘everyday life’ practices of the inhabitants and what has been named here ‘segmented city’ as an epitome of the contemporary city in the age of globalization.