City symphonies are cinematic events that evoke urban space and pace through kaleidoscopic imagery and dynamic visual rhythm. Sheeler and Strand's Manhatta is a quintessential example of the genre, which originated in the 1920s. Burckhardt's Under the Brookyln Bridge and Moholy-Nagy's Berliner Stilleben similarly explore the complex spatial arrangement of architecture, traffic, and quotidian life. Anthony Stern's San Francisco revisits the genre in 1968 with an explosion of psychedelic synesthesia and groovy abstraction.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 12:00 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
Manhatta, Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, 1921, 6 min., 16mm
Berliner Stilleben, László Moholy-Nagy, 1931, 9 min., DVD
Under the Brooklyn Bridge, Rudy Burckhardt, 1955, 15 min., 16mm
San Francisco, Anthony Stern, 1968, 5 min., 16mm
Image: Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler, Manhatta (still), 1921; courtesy The Museum of Modern Art