Thursday, November 17, 2005

Milano's ambiguity


I was in Milan this week.
Walking through the city's streets, around la piazza del Duomo, taking the so vintage underground... Because of all these 1970s Italian movies I'm watching, I guess my eyes are probably seeing a distorded reality and I was feeling like taking a walk through a movie set, more than visiting a 2005 city.

Milan lends itself to this cinematographic impression: the spectacular vertical and greyish architecture, the vast places, the yellow tram and its suspended wires above long and straight avenues, and also the little dark streets, the vintage pavement, the small shops still decorated with wooden walls and their crude neon lights. It all looks like time is only slowly making its way in, even though the city is agitated by its people's liveliness, this Italian talking which is like a song to foreign ears. There is an odd modernity to this atypical Italian city.

Indeed, in terms of urbanism and architecture, it feels more north-eastern european than anything else: dark and austere, yet very charming.
There's a peculiar vibe here, and I haven't decided yet whether it's a threatening or exciting one. Probably both. I love Milano's ambiguity.

Milan was extensively used in the "Poliziesco", this other genre which started just after Giallo. Less imaginative but even more strongly linked to the political and social context of the Italian 1970s.
A great site to learn more: Pollanet Squad.

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