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Cinema and the Production of Spatial Memories: Fifty Years of Representing 1960s Montreal in Quebecois Films


Cinema and the Production of Spatial Memories: Fifty Years of Representing 1960s Montreal in Quebecois Films

Honarmand, Fatemeh (2018) Cinema and the Production of Spatial Memories: Fifty Years of Representing 1960s Montreal in Quebecois Films. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Since the end of the 20th century, cinema has been widely recognized as a meaningful source of information for studying geographic phenomena including urban development. This thesis aims to further explore the potential of cinema to produce our spatial memories. The research question that structures this project is: how does the cinematographic representation of a certain place during a certain period evolve over time? This question is addressed through the study of the cinematographic representation of 1960s Montreal over time. Seven films released between 1964 and 2014 (Le chat dans le sac (1964), Entre la mer et l’eau douce (1967), Yesterday (1981), Emporte-Moi (1999), Monica la mitraille (2004), C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005), Corbo (2014)) were selected for study since they can all be identified as unfolding in Montreal of the 1960s. Each of these films have then been evaluated according to four main criteria: politics, religion, urban mobility and urban development.
This analysis first shows only a marginal interest in Québec cinema of the last 50 years for revisiting the Quiet Revolution despite the importance of this period in modern Québec history. Nevertheless, all seven of the films identified but one (i.e. C.R.A.Z.Y.) directly address the political tensions that were at stake during this period. Religion was the second-most common theme identified in these movies. Even though it was not as prevalent as politics, religious issues recurred throughout all the movies studied.
The other two topics under study appeared more marginally in the selected movies, although some trends began to emerge from the study. For instance, the action of the movies released after 2000 took place in the suburbs of Montréal, while the earlier movies barely ventured beyond the downtown core, illustrating the growing importance given to the development of the suburban in recent decades. This centrifugal movement was not accompanied with a change of transportation since cars remained the main way of transportation throughout the seven studied movies.
Overall this project did not identify radical changes in the way the cinematographic representation of Montréal of the 1960s has evolved over the last fifty years, but it contributed to the development of a methodology dedicated to further examining how cinema participates in the reshaping of our collective spatial memories.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Honarmand, Fatemeh
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:June 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Caquard, Sébastien
ID Code:984012
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 16:52
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 16:52
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