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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 »
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 »
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 »
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).
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 »
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
One of the best 'slice of life' documentaries that doesn't age but keeps getting better and better.
An amazing work of the 'slice of life' films of the 20s, really the main and most admirable example along with Dziga vertov's Man With the Movie Camera, to this day, the film remains an effective portrayal of the great city that Berlin was even back when the film was made. In fact, as time goes by, it picks up even greater importance because of the historical value that it holds.
What is truly admirable is the editing and the cinematography. Perhaps even more than the things that are contained in the framework, is the framework itself which has the first impact on the viewer. The wonderful photography, and the skilled editing that is able to go from man to machine, from trains to horses, from workmen to roller-coaster rids, are always elegant and original, even in regards to Vertov's later work mentioned above. It is, in fact, stylistically a Ruttmann work. Although the work of Vertov and Ruttmann are similar, there is a difference in the sense that while The man With the Movie Camera is aware of being a film, and plays with the process of film-making, Berlin actually lets the contents of the framework play out, and never quite interferes with it.
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