Berlin: Symphony of a Great City


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Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

  • 1927
  • Directed By: Walter Ruttmann
  • Rated Not Rated
  • Documentary
  • 65 Minutes
  1. Sunday, October 8, 2017 3:00 p.m.
Still image from the film Berlin


Silent film with live piano accompaniment by Craig Davis.


This semi-documentary film presents one day in the life of Berlin as a city, capturing the rhythm of the time through visual and abstract impressions, absent of narration. Not unlike Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, which came two years later in 1929, the film became part of a genre of ‘city symphony’ films that sequence events to imply a loose impression of the city’s daily life. Walter Ruttmann described his intent as purely aesthetic, “ … creating a symphonic film out of the millions of energies that comprise the life of a big city.” Print courtesy of IU Libraries Moving Image Archive. (16mm Presentation)