Flicker Alley, LLC presents:

Berlin, Symphony of a Great City AKA Berlin, die Sinfonie der Grobstadt

DVD (UPC: 889290092014)
  • Documentary (Aspect: 1.33:1)
  • DVD-R Product: This Product is manufactured on demand.
Available Formats:
Rating:
Starring:
N/A

Price: Price: $18.95

In Stock

Synopsis

At once an invaluable photographic record of life in Weimer Berlin and a timeless demonstration of the cinema's ability to enthrall on a purely visceral level, Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Berlin, die Symphonie der Grosstadt) offers a kaleidoscopic view of a single day in the life of a 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 I).

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."

Opus I A rare example of the German avant-garde cinema known as absoluter Film, Walther Ruttmann's hand-colored Opus I is an exploration of the geometry of movement within the frame and the sensory effect these abstract shapes evoke as they swell, streak and swim across the screen. Viewed alongside Berlin, Opus I seems a thumbnail sketch for the sweeping slice-of-life documentary, revealing the degree to which Ruttmann's 1923 film was more a spectacle of raw motion than a documentary portrait of Berlin's daily routines. Opus I is accompanied by Max Butting's 1922 score, adapted and conducted by Timothy Brock.

Berlin, Symphony of a Great City

Year: 1927
Length: 62 minutes
Director: Walther Ruttman
Music: Composed and conducted by Timothy Brock
Format: NTSC

Opus I
Year: 1922
Length: 10 minutes
Director: Walther Ruttman
Music: Composed by Max Butting, adapted and conducted by Timothy Brock

Produced for DVD by David Shepard
From the Blackhawk Films® Collection
Presented by Flicker Alley

Specifications

  • UPC: 889290092014
  • Release Date: 1927
  • Content Provider: Flicker Alley, LLC
  • Runtime: 72:00
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Language: English
  • Format: DVD-NTSC
  • Screen: 0.16875
  • Aspect: 1.33:1
  • Rating: NR
  • Audio: Stereo
  • Color/BW: BW
  • Special Features: Opus I: A rare example of the German avant-garde cinema known as absoluter Film, Walther Ruttmann's hand-colored Opus I is an exploration of the geometry of movement within the frame and the sensory effect these abstract shapes evoke as they swell, streak and swim across the screen. Viewed alongside Berlin, Opus I seems a thumbnail sketch for the sweeping slice-of-life documentary, revealing the degree to which Ruttmann's 1923 film was more a spectacle of raw motion than a documentary portrait of Berlin's daily routines. Opus I is accompanied by Max Butting's 1922 score, adapted and conducted by Timothy Brock.
  • Copyright: Special Contents of This Edition ©1999 by Film Preservation Associates, Inc. / Blu-ray Publication and Design ©2016 Flicker Alley, LLC
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Disc Format: DVD-5

Cast and Crew

Starring:
N/A

Written by:
Scenario by Karl Freund and Walther Ruttmann
from an idea by Carl Mayer.

Directed by:
Walther Ruttman

Produced by:
Karl Freund