Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)

aka Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt / Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis

2007 #108
Walther Ruttmann | 65 mins | download

Berlin: Symphony of a Great CityGerman silent movie depicting a day in the ‘life’ of Berlin, part of the ‘city symphony’ genre that was popular around the 1920s. This makes it one of those films that is in some way Important, but sadly it’s still a bit, well, boring.

Essentially it’s a documentary showing many facets of city life and industry, though with no kind of narration and often edited in an artistic fashion (fast cutting and crazy angles to represent the chaos of a busy junction, for example). It has its moments (the opening train journey being the highlight for me), and I’m sure some would find the footage of ’20s life fascinating, but it’s the sort of thing that’s just too dull for my tastes.

For something similar which I enjoyed a bit more, try the Russian Man With a Movie Camera.

2 out of 5

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