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Berlin, the symphony of a city (1927)

Written by Sabine Küper on . Posted in Full Moon, The Passenger, Urban Chant

The five minute short version of a documentary film by Walter Ruttmann is deeply influenced by filmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein and Dsiga Wertow.

A train speeds through the country on its way to Berlin, then gradually slows down as it pulls into the station. It is very early in the morning, about 5:00 AM, and the great city is mostly quiet. But before long there are some signs of activity, and a few early risers are to be seen on the streets. Soon the new day is well underway in Berlin, filmmaker Walter Ruttmans Hommage to Berlin in the Twenties.

The film is produced as a silent movie and was accompanied by a Symphony orchestra. Walter Ruttmann was a master of the expetimental film in the Twenties and early Thirties. He later sadly ended up as a propaganda filmmaker for the Nazis.

„Morning, midday and evening, working people and mashines, streets, restaurants, Varieté und Revue, Six days bycicle races, – dramatic through the movement, brillantly edited, starting with energy, slowing down at midday, rising up speed towards night, a musical film.“ (Herbert Ihering in the “Berliner Börsen Courier”, 1927)

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