Marco Fincardi

Skyscrapers in the Silent Cinema

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Keywords: Images of metropolises; The artistic avant-gardes in silent cinema; Skyscrapers in the silent cinema; Skyscrapers in the social imaginary; Symbols of economic power between Europe and America.

Since the end of the 19th century, the image of the development of metropolises has been linked to the construction of modern towers. In the 1920s, in particular the cinema of the artistic avant-garde had a strong focus on the image of the metropolis, while the United States of America prevailed on a planetary level and imposed the image of New York as the main planetary center of modernity, often symbolically represented with the image of skyscrapers. The comparison between European and American cinema in the silent films of that decade inevitably had to confront this symbolism, still located in the island of Manhattan.

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