Real cities are now often imagined, built, and articulated based on reel experiences. The essence of architectural space appears free of the functional requirements. Film architecture bears no load, no foundations, its staircases go nowhere and its corridors end in painted perspectives. The technical restrictions and limitations of the professional do not exist. The architecture becomes a direct reflection of mental images, memories and dreams, turning the city into a filmstrip itself, captured by it’s frames, isolated from time and space.
With cinema we step through time and space to visit our favourite cities, we know their situations, personalities and eccentricities, and even when we go to visit them, we may never be able to see beyond the envelope of our previous fictive experience. We know these cities as projected fictions. We can explicitly link the cinematic spectator with a traveller among ruins; the cinema both creates and feeds on the ruins of earlier notions of space, perception, and movement.
Manhattan becomes the inspiration for endless designs; its architecture sans frontiers can be played at infinitum. The artificial two-dimensional order of the city creates undreamt freedom for three-dimensional anarchy. This phenomenon generates the city’s identity, glorifying the unreal over the real, while in the ordinary world, the boundaries between reality and fiction have started to merge and become blurred. Everything is destined to reappear as simulation, you wonder if what you see is the reality itself or not (1)
The imaginary boundary between any fictional work and its audience is called the fourth wall. Breaking this wall is considered a technique of metafiction, were the audience can penetrate the boundaries normally set up by works of fiction. Disclosing and making obvious the manipulative and “fictive” qualities of the medium alienates the viewer from the self-contained narrative, making him aware of what he is watching, and forcing him into a critical and analytical frame of the mind. By contrary, the acceptance of the transparency of the fourth wall allows the observer to enjoy the fiction as if they were observing real events.
Films influence the way we construct images of the world, and in many instances they influence how we operate within it. This applies not only to the connection between the two, but also to how these forms of experience have become co-dependent. The cinematic realm is an integral constituent of the urban environment, revealing much about both urban theory and the urban condition.
Dealing with the in-between space of both, fiction and reality helps to reconfigure reality, and vice versa. Recognizing that the line between the real and the virtual has fundamentally eroded, and that the two have become mutually constitutive, and considering how the real city and the reel city reference each other in an act of mutual representation and definition, I will be dealing with the space between the real and the fiction and the audience and the fiction, by expanding it, zooming in, paying attention to it and making it a new place, bringing the viewer the possibility of become fully aware and as a participant in the fictional event.