Rotterdam Films

Rijneke & van Leeuwaarden

City Life

Various Directors

CITY LIFE, the first International episode film.



CITY LIFE, the monumental award winning episode film can best be characterized as a caleidoscopic panorama of the world. CITY LIFE is a visual anthology of twelve short stories by twelve innovative directors from all over the world. In each contribution each filmmaker presents his personal view of these cities he knows so well. In this way an inside view of the political, cultural and social changes in the cities of the world of the 1990s is provided.

Each short is a separate and self-contained feature presented in an elaborate framework of sound and image. The sinking of the Titanic, a floating city of sorts, and the tower of Babel, symbolizing the diversity of cultures, serve as links between the various contributions. The cohesion of the episodes is intensified by the music, composed by Zbigniew Preisner, regular composer for Krzysztof Kieslowski.

The CITY LIFE project is a cooperation between filmmakers and their cultures and is not to be regarded as a competition between filmmakers. Invited are eleven directors from different continents, aiming to create a global view of rapidly changing societies.
Selected for this project have been directors whose previous work has been notable for their personal vision of recent developments in modern life, as well as for the exploration of new cinematographic means of expression. So the one expresses his fascination with a city’s chaos, the diversity of people, movements, events, while another may express more lyrically his, or her, love for a city’s monuments.
In addition to the assignment to show life in their city, each participating filmmaker was expected to refer to the discovery of the spot where on its 1912 maiden voyage the ‘Titanic’ sank and to the plans to raise the ship. Like other big ships the ‘Titanic’ was designed for most of man’s needs: to accommodate an entire and autonomous community; the floating city. Her wreck reminds one of the sunken city of Atlantis.
Although the city features as the central element and functions as a mirror of society in the entire project, the choice of cities in CITY LIFE was indicated by the directors themselves, who know their own cities from experience and know what is of interest

about the director

Alejandro Agresti – Buenos Aires

Rijneke & van Leeuwaarden – Rotterdam                

Béla Tarr – Budapest

Tato Kotetishvili – Tbilisi José

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Warsaw    

Luis Guerin – Barcelona

Carlos Reichenbach – São Paulo                                

Ousmane William M’Baye – Dakar

Eagle Pennell – Houston                                            

Gabor Altorjay – Hamburg

Clemens Klopfenstein – Bevagna

Mrinal Sen – Calcutta