Working on my film project and the role of the city, I came across the book Film and the City: The Urban Imaginary in Canadian Cinema, written by George Melnyk which is by far the best writing I’ve found on this subject.
Having lived in Montreal for the last 11 years, I’m still lacking convincing words or images to talk about this fascinating topic. I was having such a hard time explaining the role of the city in my film and my fascination about its presence in my projects that it became a serious subject of study for me. How I see a city and how I’m trying to get it more and more integrated as a character in my projects is something that I have already started exploring in my previous projects « Où ai-je déjà vu cela? » and « Autour d’une table ». I’m trying to raise the city to the role of main character in my in-production short animation film « Une Visite ».
Cities in the eyes of some societies were a place where people could find freedom, versus the rural areas which had rigorous social structures and traditions. For a Canadian, the city was the first place where the authorities were established and so you would have moved out of the city to the country to find the freedom you were looking for. These notions have been changed in different ways throughout history but their effects are present in the unconscious of a society.
How Canadian cities are pictured in its cinema is what I’ve been reading about and looking for in Canadian films this last year.
My approach to this subject is mostly an effort to create a city that is undeniably inspired by cities I know more. This city doesn’t exist in reality; it is nothing but a collage of pictures and sound ideas I have collected the last three years from Tehran, Montreal and Toronto. It’s a playful experimentation and deconstruction of what has strongly formed my identity: My Long walks and observations in Cities.