Reel vs Real

In: Social Issues

Submitted By raymondputman
Words 2188
Pages 9
Raymond Putman
M. Foulkes
Urban Geography
11.18.11

Reel vs. Real:
How cities are portrayed in film

The setting often can make or break a movie. Think about it. If Ocean’s 11 was set in Gary, Indiana, instead of Las Vegas and Danny Ocean’s crew robbed the town’s one casino instead of three, would it have been the same film? Not at all. But if the movie had somehow made sense, would the perception of Gary—as a city—be different? Quite possibly. How a city is portrayed in film, whether accurate or not, plays a big role in how the city is viewed in real life.; this can be proven through different genres and in multiple cities.
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The Good Many movies that take have a very specific city-setting are extremely accurate. A prime example is Martin Scorsese’s The Gangs of New York. In the film, not only are the gangs portrayed accurately in their crime and demeanor, but the city’s landscape is spot-on (Christiano). Scorsese, having grown up in New York, did a marvelous job at catching the city’s gritty side that was a reality in the 19th century. History professor Tyler Anbinder said in a book about historical aspects of the film that Scorsese’s visual recreation of 19th century New York couldn’t have been better. The great part of the film’s grimy look at the city is that it shows a strong contrast to the city today (DiGirolamo). Likewise, Detroit is portrayed fairly accurately in John Singleton’s Four Brothers, a movie about four adopted brothers who come together in their rough city to figure out who murdered their mother. In his review of the film, Peter Long wrote that, although there are nice parts of Detroit, the film does its job in not highlighting them. Four Brothers shows how tough the city of Detroit is through its scenes of petty violence and crime, not to mention its dilapidated buildings and run down city streets (“Review: Four…...

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