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The kinetic icon: Reyner Banham on Los Angeles as mobile metropolis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2006

Film and Media Studies and Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA


Architectural historian P. Reyner Banham (1922–88) is widely known for his numerous writings on the modern built environment, including the book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971). In the BBC television film Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles (Julian Cooper, 1972), he concretized his earlier insights about the importance of mobility in the Southern California metropolis by employing the proclivity of the cinematic medium to represent movement. While traditional notions of the urban icon commonly understand it as a static monument or landmark, in these two works Banham challenges the suitability of this view to a city as inflected by automobility as Los Angeles and proposes the motorway and the experience of driving as its most characteristic iconic forms.

Research Article
2006 Cambridge University Press

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Urban Icons

This package contains the source files for one of the Urban History multimedia companions created to accompany special issue Urban History volume 33, issue 1, by Philip J. Ethington & Vanessa R. Schwartz (eds.), and originally hosted as an online resource by Cambridge University Press. These files contain multimedia content in a now deprecated format, Adobe Flash. Please note that links to third party resources will be retained here in the original form provided by the compilers of the multimedia companions. The Press does not warrant that links from archival entries will continue to function correctly and does not undertake to redirect or suppress links when third party sites cease to be available

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