Directed by: Walter Ruttmann/Dimitri Kirsanoff
Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Walter Ruttmann, 1927, 65 minutes)
The film is built as a day in the life of a city, and it gave the name “city symphony” to a genre that includes Alberto Cavalcanti’s Rien que les heures (1926), Mikhail Kaufman’s Moscow (1927) and Man with a Movie Camera (1928) by Kaufman’s brother Dziga Vertov. Ruttmann was an abstract artist and filmmaker who saw the city as poetry. The idea for the film came from two of the great figures of German Expressionist cinema, screenwriter Carl Mayer and cinematographer Karl Freund.
Menilmontant (Dimitri Kirsanoff, 1926)
This 37-minute film has been called the most beautiful film ever made. When their parents are murdered, two young girls make their way to Paris. The younger of the two is seduced and abandoned, and her wanderings around Paris, baby in tow, are visually and emotionally astonishing. DSFF pairs Menilmontant with Berlin, Symphony of a Great City because both at times celebrate the pace, the excitement and the poetry of cities.
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927) Documentary of Pre-Nazi Berlin
DVD (Quality Information Publishers, Inc.)
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