Berlin Symphony Of A Great City
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 Mayers 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