Cole and Vladislavic approach the exploration of city with differing identities and in several instances, differing feelings toward the city as a home, but both call into question the impact of place on individual experience and morality.
In “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” Simmel notes that the “violent and unexpected stimuli” and “ unrelenting hardness” which result in the “domination of the metropolis ” must be combated with intellectualism and a certain level of indifference towards what we typically consider necessary, humanistic elements of life. The community-based small-towns in which connectivity is an integral element of life deeply contrast the cityscape: a machine uninterested in the person, in which individuality, in many ways, exists only to the extent that it serves the greater agendas of the metropolis. Therefore, maintaining a sense of autonomy or personhood becomes a daunting, and often impossible task. Throughout Open City, we see Julius, a naturally aloof medical resident, struggling to reconcile his profound isolation with his desire to remain an elitist. At one particular moment, Julius describes sitting in a movie theatre: “In the great cave of the theater, I sat alone. No, not alone, exactly: in the company of a hundred