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Berlin Symphony Of A Great City

Berlin Symphony Of A Great City

Ref: 102

Price: $4.98 / 3.59


Documentary (1928) 65 minutes ~ Black & White

At once an invaluable photographic record of life in Weimar Berlin and a timeless demonstration of the cinemas ability to enthrall on a purely visceral level, BERLIN, SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY offers a kaleidoscopic view of a single day in the life of the bustling metropolis.

Carl Mayer (The Last Laugh), influenced by the naturalistic Kammerspiel movement, envisioned “a melody of pictures” sprung from daily reality instead of the stylized artificiality of the studio-bound expressionist film. Following Mayer’s rough outline, photographer Karl Freund deployed a team of cameramen to explore the avenues, alleyways, and factories of Berlin and secure hidden-camera glimpses of the people and machinery that provide the city with its constant motion. The many hours of footage were then edited into a series of five acts, like movements of a symphony, by Walther Ruttmann as a continuation of his experiments with abstract motion (see OPUS 1).

Berlin defined the formula of the “city symphony” film and, according to John Grierson – the filmmaker/critic who coined the term “Documentary” – “No film has been more influential, more imitated”

Director: Walter Ruttmann

Writers: Karl Freund (screenplay), Carl Mayer (idea) and Walter Ruttmann (screenplay)

Stars: Paul von Hindenburg


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