New York in Cinematic Imagination: The Agitated City, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

New York in Cinematic Imagination

The Agitated City, 1st Edition

By Vojislava Filipcevic Cordes


280 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367247560
pub: 2020-07-10
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New York in Cinematic Imagination is an interdisciplinary study into urbanism and cinematic representations of the American metropolis in the twentieth century. It contextualises spatial transformations and discourse about New York during the Great Depression and the Second World War, examining both imaginary narratives and documentary images of the city in film.


The book argues that alternating endorsements and critiques of the 1920s machine age city are replaced in films of the thirties and forties by a new critical theory of ‘agitated urban modernity’ articulated against the backdrop of turbulent economic and social settings and the initial practices of urban renewal in the post-war period.


Written for postgraduates and researchers in the fields of film, history and urban studies, with 40 black and white illustrations to work alongside the text, this book is an engaging study into cinematic representations of New York city.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: New York’s Agitated Urban Modernity

Chapter Two: The City in Motion

Chapter Three: Urban Planning and Democratic Aesthetics

Chapter Four: In the Streets of Harlem

Chapter Five: The Agitated City

Chapter Six: Agitation Implodes

Coda: Of Urban Remains


About the Author

Vojislava Filipcevic Cordes holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Columbia University, and was a Paul E. Raether Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban and Global Studies at Trinity College. She is a New York-based scholar whose research focuses on cinema and urban space, immigrant incorporation, and political activism in sanctuary cities.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Planning and Urban Design

The Routledge Research in Planning and Urban Design series provides the reader with the latest scholarship in the field of planning and beyond. The series publishes international research covering spatial planning, regional planning, planning history, planning theory, communities, impact assessment, transport, sustainability and urban design. Building on Routledge’s history of academic rigor and cutting edge research, the series will contribute to the rapidly expanding literature in all areas of planning and urban design. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning