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08 OCTOBER 2003

Placelessness: Alphaville

There are numerous films that deal with issues relating to non–place. One key example if the 1965 film Alphaville, made by Jean Luc Godard about a futuristic city where its inhabitants are controlled/programmed by a central computer. At no time during the film does it feel that any of the inhabitants actually reside or belong to the city. The city appears to be a conduit between the objectives of its master and it's subjects. The city is a non–place that facilitates occupation and transport without offering placement. The institutional nature of engagement within the narrative space reinforces this. Rooms speak their status without addressing anyone specifically, compass references are offered but without any clear connection to a specific geography. The only avenue for escape for the film's protagonist (and his love–interest), is to exit through another non–place: one of the city's interstate highways.

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