The Cities that Surround Us Essay

The Cities that Surround Us Essay

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Once more, the article “The Incorporation of America” reveals the theme of capitalism and consumption. This thematic idea shares a common perspective with the directors of both The Crowd and In Modern Times. The idea of capitalism and consumption is furthermore explained in this article when it states that: “The great city was a marketplace, a site of trade and consumption.” (108). Additionally, it states that: “If the advertisement aimed to make consumption of a particular product habitual, it also aimed to make habitual the identification of products with something else, with ideas, feelings, and status. Advertising arose as a functional institution…” (Trachtenberg, 135). These statements can make reference to the views the director of The Crowd has of the built environment of a city. King Vidor portrays through the use of cinematic techniques these same ideas of consumption in his film. From the beginning of the film until the end of it, the city of New York is seen as a city where people go in search of their dreams. They want to excel in what they do and overcome people; competition amongst individuals is massive. This constant competition represents that people are struggling in order to see who becomes wealthier and can therefore afford the most goods. There is a quote in the film which states that: “You got to be good in that town to beat the crowd.” This can be seen through the high angle shot at the beginning of the film when Johnny Sims is at the top of the stairs and the rest of the crowd looks weaker because of this high angle shot. Additionally, the fact that the city was a marketplace where there was trade and consumption can be seen in an insert shot of the clock inside the workplace, which represents how everybo...


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...n both “The Incorporation of America” and “Something More Than Night”, are portrayed in the films of The Crowd, In Modern Times, Double Indemnity, and Chinatown in such a way, that the audience is completely tied to. Specifically themes such as the rise of the cities, the noir cities, the consumption and capitalism, as well as the suspicious relationships, are completely engaging themes that make movies stand out in the film making industry. Techniques such as camera placement, movement, as well as color and sound effects, are the essentials to a remarkable movie. What would the cinematic industry be without these? Maybe not as prodigious as it is today.



Works Cited

Krutnik, Frank. "Chapter 4: Something More than Night." N.p.: n.p., n.d. 43-60. Print.
Trachtenberg, Alan. "Mysteries of the Great City." The Incorporation of America. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 101-39. Print.

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