All 2016 Films

BERLIN, SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY (BERLIN. DIE SINFONIE DER GROßSTADT)

Courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek
Courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek


Sun. Jan. 17, 2016 8:00 P.M.
Castro Theatre, San Francisco
Live in Concert: ALP
U.S. Debut

64 mins. Restored Version. Germany (1927). DCP.

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Director: Walther Ruttmann
Cinematography: Robert Baberske, Reimar Kuntze, László Schäffer, Karl Freund
Producer: Karl Freund
Source: Deutsche Kinemathek

We celebrate 20 years of Berlin & Beyond with this special fusion of cinema and music, created by Berlin-based band ALP. Mixing rock band dynamics, improvisation, and laptop electronics, they take us back in time to a Berlin of a bygone era, giving us shivers, goose bumps and a feeling of the massive energy of a megalopolis in the beginning of the 20th century.

The external framework is the life of the metropolis from morning until midnight. At first, one senses the atmosphere of the city; a long-distance train travels through the suburbs, making us increasingly aware of the proximity of the colossus, shots of the journey, motion filmed with amazing technical skill, symbolize our rushing towards the metropolis. The station, the dawn, Berlin! Gradually it awakens. The earliest workers sparsely populate the streets. It grows in a crescendo, highlights fall on the centers of morning life, on stations, factories, road junctions. Characteristic types are captured everywhere. And like an accompanying tune, we have sections from the private lives of big-city people, houses waking up, apartments coming to life. Midday arrives, evening arrives, again and again the objective fits to situations full of life, stealing the heart of them.

The photographer penetrates all areas, all districts, all social classes. Night falls, sections from the dark existence of Berlin, flashes of light over the darkest periphery. Until the night gently covers over this in- comparably seething life with its calm veil of stars. –German Films