Experience of Urbanscape Essence in International Award Winning Iranian Movies

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Saba Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 M. Arch., Saba Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Interdisciplinary subjects have always had a remarkable contribution in developing urban design concepts and theories. Among these contexts, cinema as a medium which broadcasts features of our cities and urban environments can have a significant role, but this instructional field is neglected among Iranian scholars. Thus, to fulfill this gap, it is essential to clarify the interrelations of cities and cinema in Iran. Iranian cinema, particularly after the revolution, received so many international awards in festivals. These prominent works have various urban sequences that can be a valuable source for urban designers and city policymakers. Consequently, the civic movies from these impressive works are selected and studied by the use of qualitative methods and content analysis. These analyses have been conducted in two distinctive sections. First, the repetition of cities, Urbanscape, and city aspects which were implied by Kevin Lynch had been inspected. Second, the role of cities and urbanscapes analyzed by the adoption of Carmona's dimensions. This paper indicates that Tehran has had the most presence in the movies, while few films have been captured in some coastal cities and some pictured in places with a special traditional architecture such as Bandar Lengeh. Within the city aspects, paths and districts have the most repetition while landmarks and nodes have the least depiction. It is conceded that the portrayed physical attributes of cities can be categorized into three parts which cover old and traditional environments, new and modern environments and outskirt suburban areas. Furthermore, from the social-perceptual point of view, Tehran because of its urban and civic issues is generally related with disorders and negative meanings, while other cities because of their nostalgic and traditional urban style are more respected within the society. According to the researches, urban facades and visual aspects in Tehran are usually not acceptable, while coastal environments and traditional designs sound more appropriate. As mentioned, the captured environments of Iranian cities are narrowed to some particular areas, which expresses the insufficient number of picturesque settings in urban environments. Therefore, this study can also perform as a tool for evaluating the enrichment of Iranian urban spaces.


  1. Adibi, A., Goodarzi, P. (2017). Analyzing the Effects of Environmental Recognition on Enhancing the Hidden Natural Landscape of Tajrish River-Valley and its Sociability. Space Ontology International Journal, 6(2), 61-74.
  2. Baharlou, H., (2007). Is Tehran a nice place?. The Film, Volume 14(12), 80-81.
  3. Bentley, I., (2005). Urban transformations: Power, people, and urban design. New York: Routledge.
  4. Bergfelder, T., Harris, S. & Street, S., (2007). Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  5. Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T. & Tiesdell, S., (2003). Public Places- Urban Spaces The Dimensions of Urban Design. Oxford: Architectural Press.
  6. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K., (2011). Research Methods in Education. 7th ed. New York: Routledge.
  7. Comolli, J. L. & Narboni, J. P., (1998). Cinema/Ideology/Criticism. In: L. Braudy & M. Cohen, eds. Film Theory and Criticism - Introductory Readings. New York: Oxford University Press, 752-759.
  8. Creswell, J. W., (2014). Research Design, Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches. 4th ed. Los Angeles: Sage Publication.
  9. Cullen, G., (1971). The Concise Townscape. Oxford: Architectural Press.
  10. Ejlali , P. & Gohari Pour, H., (2014). Images of Cities In Iranian Films. Social Siences Journal, Volume 50, 229-278.
  11. Groat, L. N. & Wang, D., (2002). Architectural research methods. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  12. Habibi, M., Farahmandian, H. & Basiri Mojdehi, R., (2015). Reflection of urban space in Iranian cinema A review of the last two decades. Cities, Volume 50, 228-238.
  13. Hallam, J., (2010). City of Change and Challenge’: The Cine-Societies’ Response to the Redevelopment of Liverpool in the 1960s. In: R. Koeck & L. Roberts, eds. The City and the Moving Image Urban Projections. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 69-87.
  14. Hasani-Nasab, N., (2007). Goodbye Tehran. Film Magazine, Volume 14(12), 78-79.
  15. Hight, C., (2004). Inertia and interiority: 24 as a case study of the televisual metropolis. The Journal of Architecture, 9(3), 369-383.
  16. Koeck, R. & Roberts, L., (2010). The City and the Moving Image urban projections. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
  17. Kronenburg, R., (2010). Informing Contemporary Architectural and Urban Design with Historic Filmic Evidence. In: R. Koeck & L. Roberts, eds. The City and the Moving Image Urban Projections. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 222-226.
  18. Lynch, K., (1960). The Image of the City. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  19. Madanipour, A., (1996). Design of Urban Space: An inquiry into a socio-spatial process. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
  20. Masoudi, A., (2006). City in Cinema's Aesthetic. Urban Researches, 77-81.
  21. Mazierska, E. & Rascaroli, L., (2003). From Moscow To Madrid: Postmodern Cities, European Cinema. New York: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
  22. Mennel, B., (2008). Cities and Cinema. London and New York: Routledge.
  23. Modarres, A., (2006). Urbanization and the revolution: An introduction to the special issue. Cities, Volume 23(6), 405- 406.
  24. Omid, J., (1995). History of Iran's Cinema. Tehran: Rozaneh.
  25. Peri-Bader, A., (2016). Everyday experience in cinema: The port and the city's margins. Emotion, Space, and Society, Volume 18, 17-26.
  26. Pizarro, R. E., (2011). Urban design and the cinematic arts. In: T. Banerjee & A. Loukaitou-Sideris, eds. Companion to Urban Design. Abingdon: Routledge, 208-217.
  27. Rastin, S., (2009). We Looked at 'Cinema and Architecture' From Phenomenology Point of View. Ayeneh-Khial, Volume 11, 78-79.
  28. Rezapour, M., Bahrainy, S., Tabibian, M. (2017). Analysis and Assessment of Communicative Action Indicators and Variables; a Case of Tehran city, Iran. Space Ontology International Journal, 6(4), 49-58.
  29. Russell, F., (1992). New ways of city viewing. Cities, 9(1), 43-48.
  30. Sadr, H., (2002). An introduction to the political history of Iranian cinema. Tehran: Ney Publications.
  31. Safarian, R., (2005). Cinema and Audience: Genre and Iranian Cinema: Non-audience genera. Farabi, Volume 13(2), 69-74.
  32. Shiel, M. & Fitzmaurice, T., (2001). Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context. Oxford: Blackwell.
  33. Strickland, R., (2006). Background into Foreground: Film as a Medium for Teaching Urban Design [Media and the City]. Places, Volume 18(2), 44-51.
  34. Virilio, P., (1997). The Overexposed City. In: N. Leach, ed. Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory. London: Routledge, 381-390.
  35. Weihsmann, H., (1997). The City in Twilight: Charting the Genre of the ‘City Film’ 1900-1930. In: F. Penz & M. Thomas, eds. Cinema & Architecture: Méliès, Mallet