Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt) (1927)
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Critic Reviews for Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt)
It remains a unique and sometimes inspired exercise in style for its own sake.
More of a montage of images than an actual movie, this is a deeply fascinating documentary.
Audience Reviews for Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt)
Image and sound, rhythm and music, an entrancing audiovisual experiment in five parts showing a day in the life of a city that lives and breathes, with a fantastic use of Soviet intellectual montage to create brilliant visual rhymes on the many different aspects of urban life.
Interesting early documentary that allows you to experience early 20th century Berlin. That being said as with most early silent documentaries it is very tedious and hard to sit through.
A montage of scenes and moments from a day in the life of Berlin, one of several "city symphony" films that were popular at the time. Ruttmann employs a rhythmic editing style reminiscent of the Soviets, particularly Vertov. The film has a great deal of lyricism and poetry to it, and Ruttmann has a fantastic eye. Unfortunately, he doesn't really do a whole lot with the medium. There aren't that many moments where you think "I wonder why he made that decision" or "oh that was a clever transition". It has a very natural flow to it without many surprises. Also, the first three acts (he divides the day into 5 sections) can get a bit repetitive, especially with all the shots of trains. But things pick up towards the end, including a fantastic cabaret scene. All in all, it's a lovely film, but not as thought-provoking as The Man With the Movie Camera.
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