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Walter Ruttmann «Berlin, Symphony of a City»
Walter Ruttmann, «Berlin, Symphony of a City», 1927
Filmstill | ©

Germany | 70' | Concept: Carl Mayer, Buch: Karl Freund | Director: Walter Ruttmann | Camera: Reimar Kuntze, Robert Baberske, Laszlo Schäffer | Music: Edmund Meisel | Edition / Production: Deutsche Vereins -Film AG, Berlin

 Walter Ruttmann
«Berlin, Symphony of a City»

«During the many years of my movement studies drawn from abstract means, I have never been able to escape the urge to create from living materials, from the millions of movement-related energies that actually exist in the organism of the big city, a film symphony,» writes Ruttmann. For this project, Ruttmann works together with scriptwriter Carl Mayer, whose shares his exasperation with the artificiality and limitations of studio work. Carl Mayer writes a film treatment aimed at achieving a symphonic film structure, excluding both actors and a story. It concentrates on what really exists, and on a form that uses the inherent means of film. (...) (Ruttman) intends for the viewer to experience the energies, dynamics and movements of the big city, with original cinematographic means. For this end, the filmed shots function as the starting point for a montage whose rhythm hypnotizes the viewer by conveying an experience in velocities, and also produce a new awareness regarding the objectivity of filmed shots.

(Source: Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF, Frankfurt/M, visit:, based on: Jean-Paul Goergen, Walter Ruttmann, «Eine Dokumentation», Berlin, 1989.)