Representation Of New York In Manhattan And Sex And The City

1125 words - 5 pages

Representation of New York in Manhattan and Sex and the City

Manhattan, the city of New York, is often depicted in the media by
images of skyscraper buildings and yellow taxis. I am going to analyse
the representation of New York by looking at and comparing the opening
sequences of the series "Sex and the City" with the film "Manhattan".
I will be looking specifically at how the directors achieve their
interpretations of New York by the images of New York and the
cinematic devices that they use. Both directors have a similar idea of
portraying New York as a city of two halves but they both have very
different ways of doing this.

John Thomas, director of "Sex and the City", uses a range of cinematic
devices including camera shots, pace, editing and some images and
stereotypes to show Carrie as a metaphor for New York. In the first
few frames of the clip Carrie is in a close up shot with the
background around her blurred and not in focus. The focus here is on
Carrie's emotions; she is confident, relaxed and happy which
represents the bold vibrant and colourful side to New York. The clip
is divided into two halves, separated by a shot in the middle of
steering through the centre of a traffic jam from a low angle looking
up. Although this is quite an ambiguous shot and could also represent
New York as looking down on Carrie as being mysterious and
intimidating showing the other side to New York itself, to me it shows
a journey back to reality from the stereotypical side of New York
representing a change or a definitive border between the two halves of
New York. Towards the end of the clip tension is built up by the music
to a climax as Carrie is ironically splashed by a bus with an advert
for her own book. By the end of the opening sequence the camera had
zoomed out to a full shot and the background was as clear as the
foreground making Carrie just one in the very busy crowd. Her facial
expressions had gone from confident and outgoing to being shocked and
humiliated representing the intimidating, overpowering and less well
known side to New York.

"Manhattan" was made in 1979 but it was made in black and white in the
style of a 1920's to 1930's Film Noir. To add to this effect an
appropriate piece of music "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin, from
around the time of the 1930's is played in the background. At the
start of this clip the images of New York are of the backstreets, the
industrial chimneys with smoke coming out of them and road works
showing Woody Allen's representation of the more realistic side to New
York and not the stereotypical skyline and lights. As the sequence
goes on the images start to change to the more stereotypical...

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