Blu-Ray Releases Details
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 Blu-ray edition for the first time ever. Berlin defined the formula of the "city symphony" film and according to John Grierson—the filmmaker/critic who coined the term "documentary"—"No film has been more influential, more imitated."
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