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Deptford Symphony of a City January 12, 2009

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Composer Rob Canning http://robcanning.info moved to http://dek.spc.org we started brainstorming about Deptford Symphony of a city in homage to Walter Ruthman “Berlin: Symphony of a great City” and Adnan Hadzi’s professorThomas Schadt who produced the remake “Berlin Symphony of a City” from http://www.filmakademie.de

see the film on archive

excerpt about “Berlin: Symphony of a great City” from wikipedia:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (German: Berlin: Die Sinfonie der GroƟstadt), a 1927 German silent film directed by Walter Ruttmann, and co-written by Carl Mayer and Karl Freund, is a prominent example of the city symphony genre.[1] A musical score to accompany the film was written by Edmund Meisel. As a “city symphony” film, it portrays the life of a city, mainly through visual impressions in a semi-documentary style, without the narrative content of more mainstream films, though the sequencing of events can imply a kind of “narrative” of the city’s daily life.

Other noted examples of the genre include Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand‘s 1921 film Manhatta, Dziga Vertov‘s 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera, Andre Sauvage’s 1928 film Etudes sur Paris, and the 1929 Dutch film Regen directed by Mannus Franken and Joris Ivens.

This film represented a sort of break from Ruttmann’s earlier “Absolute” films which were abstracts. Some of Vertov’s earlier films have been cited as influential on Ruttmann’s approach to this film, and it seems the filmmakers mutually inspired one another, as there exist many parallels between this film and the later Man with a Movie Camera.

The film displays the filmmaker’s knowledge of Soviet montage theory. Some Socialist political sympathies, or identification with the underclass can be inferred from a few of the edits in the film, though critics have suggested that either Ruttmann avoided a strong position, or else he pursued his aesthetic interests to the extent that they diminished the potential for political content.[2] Ruttmann’s own description of the film suggests that his motives were predominantly aesthetic: “Since I began in the cinema, I had the idea of making something out of life, of creating a symphonic film out of the millions of energies that comprise the life of a big city.”

excerpt about “Berlin Symphony of a City” from german films:

“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.

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