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Berlin Symphony (Berlin - Sinfonie einer Grossstadt)

Berlin Symphony
Scene from "Berlin Symphony" (photo © Thomas Schadt)

"I think most people who feel a rush of excitement watching my Berlin film don't know where it's coming from. If I managed to give people a sense of that excitement, of allowing them to experience the city of Berlin, then I achieved what I set out to do and proved that I was right all along." (Walther Ruttmann)

In 1927, Walther Ruttmann shot his majestic documentary Berlin. Symphony of a City. In September of that same year, this milestone of the silent film era was premiered at Berlin's Tauentzien Palast with a specially composed live soundtrack.

Seventy-five years later, Berlin is in the midst of a uniquely vibrant and exciting transition. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the re-energized drive of history is bringing forth a new city. People from all over the world and from all walks of life are coming together to form a new metropolis, one reminiscent in many ways of 1920s Berlin.

While retaining some of the original's basic dramatic principles and characteristics -organizing every shot in the film according to a symphonic structure, depicting one day in the life of the city using several main themes, and shooting on black-and-white 35 mm film - this remake also strives to establish its own cohesive pictorial language and narrative structure.
Genre History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2002
Director Thomas Schadt
Screenplay Thomas Schadt
Thomas Wellmann
Helmut Oehring, Iris ter Schiphorst
Producer Nico Hofmann
Production Companies teamWorx/Berlin, Odyssee Film/Berlin
Runtime 82 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, BKM

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