Friday, May 04, 2018

Människor i stad / Symphony of a City (The Nitrate Picture Show)

A Movietone Specialty: Symphony of a City (US version)
Människor i stad, Arne Sucksdorff, Sweden 1947
Print source: Academy Film Archive, Los Angeles
Running time: 11 minutes
Viewed at The Nitrate Picture Show (NPS), George Eastman Museum, Dryden Theatre, Rochester, 4 May 2018

NPS: "About the print: The film is in excellent condition, with deep, rich contrast and very little scratching nor damage. Shrinkage: 0.63%"

"About the film: Arne Sucksdorff, “the brilliant Swedish artist who has been widely and properly acclaimed for such fresh and evocative short films as Symphony of a City” (New York Times, 1955), won an Academy Award in 1949 for Best Short Subject (One-Reel) with this masterful, poetic depiction of a day in Stockholm." (NPS)

AA: Arne Sucksdorff's classic documentary of Stockholm starts with a birds' eye view in the company of seagulls. The flying motif continues with views of  Carl Milles statues with their Icarus obsession (see image above). People are sunbathing, but a heavy rain interrupts them. Boy meets girl. Children are at play, and welders work in the street. A sense of the sacred is present at the church. A verger comes to help the children who have dropped their coins on the floor. Fishermen catch fish with nets, an artist paints them, and seagulls snatch a fishing boy's catch. We return to their birds' eye view, and the boy and a blind man walk together as the night comes and streetlights are lit. There is no spoken sound, only music and sound effects.

A brilliant print with a beautiful dynamics from full black to glistening white and everything in between.

No comments: