The City of Desire

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Game Changers

Happily entering the material world, Damiel sells his angelic breastplate at a junk shop in order to buy a loud, checked jacket; reencountering Falk, he discovers that the movie star was once an angel, too. After learning that the circus has left town but that Marion has stayed behind, he searches the city for her, and eventually finds her at the rock club, where another Australian punk group Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is playing.

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Finally coming face to face with one another in an adjacent bar, Damiel and Marion declare their mutual love and kiss, but not before Marion delivers a lengthy monologue, in German, insisting that they have to be very serious about their love, and must reinvent male-female relationships on behalf of all couples everywhere. Potentially a major director, he is an artist whose talents are defined in part by his limitations.

Exploring the Charms

In the past, he has often been perceived as being at his most confident when he remains in the register of the nostalgic buddy film, as in Kings of the Road and The American Friend. The absence of female angels and their own view of Berlin is equally significant. Marion and Damiel may not be physically separated by a two-way mirror, but their abstract rhetoric about love in general admittedly hampered by the translation of very literary German into English subtitles performs the same function, and there is not even the link of a shared past and child as in Paris, Texas to bind the two lovers together.

In terms of what we see and hear, the relationship is purely hypothetical and has nothing lived or worked-through about it. On the other hand, as long as Wings of Desire stays aloft on its exhilarating wings of pure possibility, the past of Berlin as well as its present has an undeniable vibrancy and immediacy. Even when the film touches ground, the charismatic earthiness of Falk, the haunted memories of Homer, and the solitude of Marion all give the city some emotional foundation.

City of Desire

Featured Texts Notes by Date. Posted November 30 , They all have weary mouths, bright souls without a seam, And a yearning as for sin often haunts their dream. For archaeologists who work on ancient cities of Middle East, this is a difficult task, mainly because a powerful tradition of historicism governs Near Eastern Studies as a field; textual sources from elites are often given priority over other evidence. My book is about founding and building cities in the ancient Near East during the earlier part of the Iron Age — BCE , a period following the systemic collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean world around BCE.

[AVV] City of Desire (欲望之城) First Trailer - video dailymotion

In the aftermath it seems that the entire Upper Mesopotamian and Anatolian geography not only saw the flourishing of a dramatically new political landscape, but also new lifestyles, new technologies such as ironworking, the extensive cultivation of olives and grapes, and the introduction of pigs to the diet. Despite the collapse, a level of cultural and linguistic continuity linked these communities to the Bronze Age past.

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  • Assyrian and Syro-Hittite rulers of Northern Mesopotamia and Anatolia carried out ambitious building projects including constructing capital cities from scratch, and boasted about accomplishments on their urban monuments. Building new cities was a cross-cultural practice as well as part of the official discourse, the royal rhetoric, among these states.

    Rotating and Drinking, Drinking and Rotating

    The ostentatious claims by Iron Age rulers about city building were declared eloquently in their monumental inscriptions. In these inscriptions we read about their desire to build the perfect city — almost characterized as a paradise with utmost prosperity.

    Angelababy, Wu Xiubo in City of Desire 欲望之城 [Upcoming Chinese Drama]

    Water is brought from far distances, exotic plants are brought and planted in their paradisiac gardens, the most proficient craftsmen are brought for the construction. The innovative energy in these projects was tremendous. These foundations had regularly been presented as eccentric acts of powerful political agents and explained away as megalomaniac building projects based on the narcissist decisions of kings.

    Instead, I see a complex scenario, bringing landscape archaeology and the work of paleo-environmental scientists to challenge historical and historicist reconstructions on the one hand, and to introduce cultural studies approaches, by looking at questions of memory, desire, politics of representation, narrative, commemoration, and the idea of the monument. The process of building a city was broken down into three different scales, long term history of ecologies of settlement, the specific urban histories of particular cities, and the architectural technologies and materials, how specific symbolically charged materials and techniques shape the urban environment.

    Instead of a traditional chronological structure, I created a spatial one, moving from the broader expanses and the slow moving history of the countryside, to everyday urban gestures and performances. And rather than accepting politics as the most powerful force, I looked at the tensions between the utopias of the rulers and practices that deconstruct those grand schemes and urban ideals.

    City of Desire: New Orleans

    Those same tensions exist today. I grew up in Ankara, which was refounded as the new capital city of the Turkish Republic in with the architectural and social engineering ideals of European modernism. Founders of the state in Turkey were keen on distancing themselves from Istanbul, the aged capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

    They intended to open up ideologically and socially fresh ground for their modernist utopias. In the nationalist education system, we were taught the myth that Ankara rose from a tiny and dusty Anatolian town to a modern capital. Later I would learn with astonishment that sixteenth century Ankara was probably the largest city in Central Anatolia and that this was probably also the case during the Phrygian and Early Roman periods.

    From the long-term perspective Ankara as the new capital of modern Turkey was not random but a historically informed decision; the myth of the dusty Anatolian town turned miraculously into a modernist capital was mostly a fabrication of official history. The official histories from Assyrian, Hittite, and other imperial eras must be viewed with similar suspicion and as texts obscuring real social relations and violent state policies.

    Also significant is that modernist narratives about planned cities and democratic lifestyles in a twentieth century city like Ankara have gradually been undermined and large portions of the city have been transformed into nightmares. This history now makes better sense of today. The Gezi Movement was about ordinary people in Turkey who wanted to claim their rights to urban space and to their environment.

    The Movement erupted precisely at one of the most significant and contested public spaces in Istanbul, Taksim Square. This kind of intervention into urban space boldly recreates select episodes from a complex and layered history while it silences other unwanted layers of urban heritage embedded in the same place. Our understanding of how the built environment is produced is strongly conditioned by modernity, and the modernist production of space. Space is a social product, never under the discretionary prerogative and extraordinary power of the monarch! Modernist ideas of space suggest that it can be designed and constituted before it was used, and not as it is being used.

    This modernist concept obstructs our interpretations of ancient and premodern periods. The model that ancient historians have cheerfully adopted about the foundation of Near Eastern cities is anachronistic and misleading, based on the idea that cities were created from scratch, and that political statements boasting of such accomplishments reflect historical reality.

    Building practices cannot be reduced to political decisions.

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    The City of Desire The City of Desire
    The City of Desire The City of Desire
    The City of Desire The City of Desire
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