AP: As Robyn mentioned the first week of presentations were certainly interesting and the range of results demonstrate the interconnecting points from the literature of weeks 1-3. It was also interesting to see how the same literature could be drawn upon to illustrate different approaches to cinematic city representations. On reflection of my presentation, I (once again) had too much information to convey in the time limit, although I think my case study approach allowed for this – the core aim could still be conveyed in the material I was able to use in 15minutes. It was a shame to skim over the points I had collected from To Rome With Love, as this extended some of De Certeau’s points to an interesting level. I wanted to explain how the opening and closing sequences illustrated not just an attention to the figure of the ‘City Walker’ in the main characters of the piece but in the use of the traffic conductor and the resident Italian introducing and closing the film, arguing over who saw the most of the city’s stories, really emphasised the narratological element – the ‘telling’ of the unheard stories that occur within in the City on ground level on a daily basis. Allen is giving both author and spectator to the ‘chorus of footsteps’ that is usually a silent song. This film also had another interesting reflexive element in the 2 storylines that were based upon Italian citizens not tourists, that hinted at Bass’ ‘Insiders View – Rome as the City of Films (the parody of celebrity culture and the ‘film within a film’ elements).
Nonetheless, I am confident of my conclusion and enjoyed discussing Allen’s movies with the class. I just had too much to say! Such a rich topic. As much as I enjoyed the Amsterdam based comparisons as they extended the city presentations well, I also really liked hearing about cinematic representations in different countries, revealing differing issues depending on geographical, social, political and economic contexts of the productions. I think the peer assessment forms could be revised slightly to be more course specific – some of the categories overlap also so could be simplified to make the feedback more useful for the presenter.