Film, Mobility and Urban Space

BookFilm, Mobility and Urban Space

Film, Mobility and Urban Space

A Cinematic Geography of Liverpool


February 21st, 2012



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Drawing on multi-disciplinary debates surrounding the cultural production of place, space and memory in the post-industrial city, Film, Mobility and Urban Space explores the role of moving images in representations and perceptions of everyday urban landscapes. The arguments put forward in the book are based on a case study of Liverpool in the north west of England and draw from a unique spatial database of over 1700 archive films of the city from 1897 to the present day. Theoretically wide-ranging in scope, Les Roberts’s study combines critical spatial analysis, archival research and qualitative methods to navigate a city’s cinematic geographies as mapped across a broad spectrum of film genres, including amateur film, travelogues, newsreels, promotional films, documentaries and features. As the second most filmed city in the UK – and formerly second city of Empire – Liverpool boasts a rich industrial, architectural and maritime heritage that has positioned the city – which was European Capital of Culture in 2008 – at the forefront of current debates on regeneration, visuality and cultural memory. The tension between the city as spectacle and the city as archive, and the contradictions that underpin the growing ‘cinematization’ of postmodern urban space are at the core of the arguments developed throughout the book. Examining the contention that, as spatial practices, the production and consumption of urban cinematic geographies are, in their different ways, tied to shifting cultures and geographies of mobility, Film, Mobility and Urban Space maps the critical interplay between material and immaterial spaces of the city and re-evaluates the significance – and ‘place’ – of location in contemporary film practice and urban cultural theory.

A theoretically smart exploration of film as an agent of spatial production. Combines new directions in urban history, geographical enquiry and film studies. Draws from a unique spatial database of over 1700 archive films

This is the most interesting film book I have read in years.... consistently interesting, theoretically smart, and a pleasure to read.
Ben Highmore, University of Sussex

Author Information

Dr Les Roberts is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool. He is editor of Mapping Cultures: Place, Practice, Performance (Palgrave, forthcoming 2011); co-editor with Hazel Andrews of Liminal Landscapes: Travel, Experience, and Spaces In-between (Routledge, forthcoming 2011); and co-editor with Richard Koeck of The City and the Moving Image: Urban Projections (Palgrave, 2010).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title page4
Copyright page5
List of Illustrations8
Preface and Acknowledgements12
Chapter 118
Chapter 249
Chapter 381
Chapter 4114
Chapter 5145
Chapter 6179
Chapter 7207