Sociological Analysis of Tehran City in the Cinematic Works of the 1960s and 1970s with an Emphasis on “Brick and Mirror” and “the Cycle” Films

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Dramatic Literature, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Khatam University, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Islamic Azad University, Abhar Branch, Zanjan, Iran


Knowing human beings, society and how they interact with urban spaces is of great importance to achieve human-centered and high-quality architecture and urbanism. So, in the present study, it is attempted to recognize society and city through the cinema as one of the important tools showing the interaction between society and the city simultaneously. The theory of “reflection” in the sociology of cinema considers films as documents in which social life is reflected. Therefore, the present study aims to criticize modernity and daily urban life, as well as to know the general reaction of Tehran’s citizens in the face of this city in a specific historical period, through the cinema and the image of the city and society provided by it. The theoretical approach applied in this study is based on the views of Lucien Goldman. Goldman’s approach to literary criticism is evolutionary structuralism which is applied to achieve the hidden structure of films through the semiotics of the image of layers and the hidden structure of the text. The present study is focused on two of the most influential films of the 1960s and 1970s, namely “Brick and Mirror” and “The Cycle”. These films display clear characteristics of modernity, including human alienation in the city, the transformation of socio-cultural behaviors and norms and their impact on behavior and urban norms, the conflict between the old and the new, the instability of physical spaces, the permanent destruction and renovation of the city and so on. Consequently, to accurately know the society who are the audience of architecture, one can use film and cinema, which provide an illustrated report on the social conditions of human beings and how they interact with space and the city in a short period of time.


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