Comparative Analysis Of Dziga Vertov's Berlin: Symphony Of A City

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Elizaveta Samodurova Professor Joseph Dorman History of Documentary
November 25 2014 Comparative Analysis of Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera and Walter Ruttman’s Berlin: Symphony of a City The heavily planned and edited footage of what we call reality television today has a very humble predecessor which truly attempted to capture the daily life of humans, substituting a rehearsed plot line for the purity and chaos which is inherent to human life. City symphonies placed themselves within the world of cinema as an attempt to recreate the essence of city life through kaleidoscopal glimpses of the daily life of its inhabitants, resembling a musical symphony through its structure as a visual composition of so many different elements. Two such films have helped shape the city symphony genre: Walther Ruttman’s Berlin: Symphony of a City and Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera. Both offer their viewers immersing tours of cities which no longer exist in the same form in the present day, and relay to us the spirit of a time which is forever gone. Both directors capture their cities in a way that gives them an organic pulse, fueled by a plethora of industrial machinery and the constant buzz of transportation. Ruttman’s symphony attempts to give his audience a rather detached and comprehensive view of the aesthetics of an energetic capitalist society in the process of industrialization, maintaining an almost fetishistic eye on geometry and machinery. In describing

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