Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis

The film goes to and fro between the organic and industrial forms which create the metropolis of Berlin. The film begins by holding a camera at a distance in a detached observation of the empty desolate streets, meditating for a moment or so on mechanical details. Interestingly, this observation captures both infrastructure seen and unseen, but in its silence endows the empty streets with an ominousness. Slowly as the day proceeds, the camera assumes a more intimate nature proceeding to capture the friction between the classes, the roles of men and women, and the decadence of bourgeoisie culture amidst the streets. Notwithstanding its quasi-formalist gaze, it captures the metropolis as a machine showing us the arrival in the city, its awakening, mid-day rest, busy afternoon life, and evening leisure. In this manner although it is meant to be a portrait of Berlin, there is something familiar about each frame for every city goes through similar cycles.


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