Interdisciplinary conference explores cinematic urban violence

May 2, 2009

In April, Professor Mary Woods, architecture, and Associate Professor Sabine Haenni, theatre, film, and dance (TFD), hosted the “Mean Streets” conference featuring filmmakers, film scholars, and Cornell faculty exploring literal and metaphorical violence in the cinematic city.

Delhi filmmaker and activist Vani Subramanian presented New (Improved) Delhi, a documentary probing the destruction of urban villages as the capital morphs into a global metropolis; Jason Kohn, American independent filmmaker, screened Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), about corruption, class warfare, and the militarization of São Paulo. Architecture faculty John Zissovici, associate professor, and Yanni Loukissas, visiting lecturer, showed Angel Dust, their film based on Robert Moses’s unbuilt mid-Manhattan elevated expressway envisioned through Google Earth. Haenni designed an innovative format using assembled film clips from panelists to frame thematic sessions. Professors John David Rhodes (University of Sussex) and Nick Yablons (University of Iowa) participated in the panel discussions along with Cornell faculty Jeffrey Chusid, CRP, Jeremy Foster, landscape architecture, Luz Horne, romance studies, Christoph A. Kumpusch, architecture, Mark Morris, architecture, Marilyn Rivchin, Amy Villarejo, TFD, and others. Courtney Jiyun Song (B.Arch. ’11) designed all the conference graphic materials.

Support for the conference and Subramanian’s visit came from the departments of Architecture, American Studies, and Theater, Film, and Dance; Cornell Council for the Arts; Rose Goldsen Fund; and University Lectures.

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