The City in Film

A photograph of a city at night time. There is a plaza in the foreground, a large glass building in the middle, and a city skyline in the background. Many of the buildings have neon lights of all colors. The lights are reflected off the glass building.

With its futuristic buildings and multicolor neon lights, Beijing is beginning to resemble the city from "Blade Runner," one of the films analyzed in this course. (Image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff on Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.)


MIT Course Number

11.139 / 11.239

As Taught In

Spring 2015


Undergraduate / Graduate

Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

Using film as a lens to explore and interpret various aspects of the urban experience in both the U.S. and abroad, this course presents a survey of important developments in urbanism from 1900 to the present day, including changes in technology, bureaucracy, and industrialization; immigration and national identity; race, class, gender, and economic inequality; politics, conformity, and urban anomie; and planning, development, private property, displacement, sprawl, environmental degradation, and suburbanization.

Related Content

Ezra Glenn. 11.139 The City in Film. Spring 2015. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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