Twentieth century cinema is strongly connected to the cities showcased in it. A majority of the films produced in the first half of the century originated from the West.

Asian cinema has been making its mark since the 1950s, with a distinct identity shaped by the nature and character of post-colonial cities with stories that centre on expansive urban metropolises and the dynamic nature of their populations.

It is this connection that Majlis — an association of artists, rights activists, architects and social scientists — seeks to present in Project Cinema City, in collaboration with Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture.

As “sites of aspiration that shape, reflect and even alter each other”, the project seeks to unveil how, for example, the city’s economic, political, social and cultural logic relates to its cinema. Curated by Madhushree Dutta and Archana Hande, it also attempts to unearth how a city’s imagination in cinema affects the imagination of a nation and its aspirations.

Hande says, “For the population of the subcontinent and beyond, popular cinema has been creating an imaginary land that is considered urban, and dangerous and desirable at the same time. On the other hand the city produces cinema through a dense network of people, material and spaces… Project Cinema City ventures beyond the film narratives and excavates the hidden spaces, faces and processes behind the functioning of the dream factory and the ancillary cultures around it’.

Project Cinema City will feature 12 works of art and 10 short films by more than 60 artists, filmmakers, architects and students of arts and media including artists like Atul Dodiya, Pushpamala N., Anant Joshi, Kaushik Mukhopadhyay, Arpita Singh, Gulmohammed Sheikh, Shilpa Gupta and filmmakers like Kamal Swaroop, Mamta Murthy, Paromita Vohra, Avijit Mukul Kishore among others.

Other events in the project include gallery walks and a seminar “The Ways of Mapping the City”.

Bottomline: An intellectually stimulating exposition on the role of cities in modern cinema.

Project Cinema City

Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, Manekyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road, Bangalore

When: Till December 2

More details: Call 080 - 2234 2338 or email ngma.bengaluru@gmail.com