Abbas gave us a perspective to see the disappearance of cities’ identity, that the hyperlegibility of the city is precisely what makes it invisible. The generic city is created in this way, being complex with anomalies but without unique qualities. As hyperlegible golos reduce the city to a single icon among many similar icons and the city’s image being dulled, the city may consider constructing the landscape in a “glocalized” way rather than paying for foreign star architects and the image of the city in their eyes (which is often out of date). The mean of attracting tourists can as
Abbas talks about Generic cities and explains their characteristics by discussing different cities from different films. He claims that the film is a response to Hong Kong as a generic city. However, if I were to define Hong Kong, based on my experience, I would say it is a half-generic city. Abbas says that a generic city is one without history, like Hollywood, so that it can easily create new identities. I think Hong Kong has a strong identity that cannot be changed. The British occupation did influence Hong Kong greatly, and the city is very unlike other Chinese cities.
I agree with Abbas. The image of our city is crafted by money instead of the city itself, and it presents an absents of characters because they are designed for a “brand” or an icon instead of showing the real side of the city. It makes the city invisible to the people. At the same time, I think that it is also hard to argue whether it represents Hong Kong, all those Generic City images may be intentional, globalization and internet leading us from difference to similarity. For me, the image of Hong Kong crafted by the government shows the
Cities are trying to boost their tourist trade by using branding strategies that make them more unforgettable and attractive, but they are one of the reasons for cities becoming “Generic Cities”. Cities would spend millions of dollars to build up their brand, which cost them their uniqueness, like their culture, their history, or their identity. This can be reflected through the generic cities’ representations in cinematic images. For example, in Hollywood films, most cities in Asia are now seen and represented as rich cities. I have discovered that in different films or television shows when people mention Hong Kong or
Breakout Room 4 Chosen Film – Tomb Raider The last few seconds of the clip portrays a stark contrast in a global city between the developed and less developed parts by having the foreground be the fish market while containing a backdrop of the Hong Kong skyscrapers. The clip also begins with a pan over central and its skyscrapers but then cuts to Lara Croft on a taxi stepping out onto a completely different environment. A contrast between the modern and traditional. We also noted that the way the taxi is being driven is indicative of the environment its in
In the extract from Ackbar Abbas’s Global Cities, the author described cities with hyperbolised impressions as “exorbitant cities”. These cities have transformed from their original form into a completely unrecognisable identity, “representable only as the cinematic city”. Using Hong Kong as an example, Abbas discusses how the city is depicted in Western blockbuster movies. In the movies he discussed, directors used Hong Kong’s distinct skyscrapers and landscape to build a modern, exotic visual image in the audience’s minds, while suppressing the true Hong Kong beneath. More recent examples such as King Kong vs Godzilla, or going back to the old Batman also shows
Abbas used “exorbitant city” to describe the cities whose impression is exaggerated, even deviated from original identity, being “representable only as the cinematic city”. While Hong Kong frequently appears in big-budget Hollywood movies, protraying luxurious skyscrapers and urban landscapes to generate exotic visual appeal, the real Hong Kong is supplanted. There seems a paradox between emphasizing on a city’s characteristics, and disappearance of authentic identity in global cinematic gaze. I agree with Abbas that such an exorbitant city is “phantasmagoric”, and “labyrinthine”, in the sense that hyperbolic exhaustion on the city has distorted its genuineness, living true identity invisible and
by Matsumoto Ami 3035831305 The Global Cities: Cinema, architecture and urbanism in a digital age by Abbas, a great example of using an interdisciplinary approach including films to dissect and analyse the phenomenon of global cities. The author picked the famous film in each majority urban city including Hong Kong to examine how globalization may affect our physiological and physical urban experience. Using films as an entry point is a wise choice since the architecture is a storyboard that keeps changing over the years and the film is the expression of the director’s understanding that captures the momentary setting. Referring