This documentary promoting the joys of life in a Soviet village centers around the activities of the Young Pioneers. These children are constantly busy, pasting propaganda posters on walls,... See full summary »
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »
In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.
Robert J. Flaherty
Colman 'Tiger' King,
Against a dark background, several bright, curved or rounded shapes pulse towards the center of the screen, one at a time. They are followed by many other shapes, some irregular, some ... See full summary »
A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »
Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »
The life of a great city (Paris) from dawn until dusk, including the beautiful and the ragged, the rich and the poor, with little or no comment (intertitles) from the director, Cavalcanti (whose first film this was).
Morning reveals New York harbor, the wharves, the Brooklyn Bridge. A ferry boat docks, disgorging its huddled mass. People move briskly along Wall St. or stroll more languorously through a ... See full summary »
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 - it's just a typical day in Berlin, but a day full of life and energy. Written by
Berlin, Symphony of a City is a remarkable historical document of the mighty city before its Wagnerian capitulation within less than twenty years of its filming. Along with Paris, Berlin was the epicenter of a Europe emerging from World War 1 into the Roaring Twenties and director Walter Ruttman for the most part captures the energy and pace of the 20th century metropolis.
Moving from morning to night Symphony emphasizes the cities industrial muscle but also divides evenly portraits of the have and have nots of Berlin, the grime as well as the glitter. It is a city on the move and move it does from the crowded sidewalks to the congested avenues and its varied populace . It is in the faces of these Berliners that the film holds its greatest fascination for me watching children playing and youth sporting events with the knowledge that most of them will be of draft age for the oncoming conflagration that will reduce this city to rubble.
The documentary does have problems with some scenes clearly staged (in one case a suicide filmed in close-up) and a roller coaster scene is overlong but overall when put into historical context this is a valuable visual document of a city that is extinct as Atlantis.
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