Berlin, Symphony of a Great City

Berlin, Symphony of a Great City

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. Scanned in 2K resolution from 16mm elements and featuring a score by composer Timothy Brock as performed by the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Flicker Alley and Blackhawk Films® are proud to release this classic of documentary cinema in a high-definition edition for the first time ever.
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. Scanned in 2K resolution from 16mm elements and featuring a score by composer Timothy Brock as performed by the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Flicker Alley and Blackhawk Films® are proud to release this classic of documentary cinema in a high-definition edition for the first time ever.