The Films of Cities

Films that Reflect Radical Changes of Berlin

Barbara Mennel is not only Professor of German and Film Studies at University of Florida but also the author of Cities and CinemaThe movies she chose look at the milestones in the history of Berlin encapsulating a subtle look.

5 Films

Five films that are set in Berlin and that reflect Berlin in its different historical moments:

These five films reflect the radical changes of Berlin throughout the twentieth and the twenty-first century. Each one of captures the Zeitgeistof its historical moment, including the technological possibilities of film and the city’s changing urban landscape. Each one is my favorite for its ability to portray Berlin in a particular moment. Together, they reflect Berlin’s continuous radical transformation.

Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City: celebrated the Berlin as the epicenter of modernity by using montage editing to reflect the hustle and bustle of the metropolis in the late years of the Weimar Republic.

Gerhard Klein’s Berlin, Schönhauser Corner Corner follows the narrative conventions of socialist realism and maps the mobility of East German youth in the North-Eastern neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg.

Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire, famously invented angels who could traverse the deadly border between East and West Berlin, creating an allegory of the divided city.

Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Runcelebrated a united urban landscape with kutluyor. a young woman’s kinetic endurance. Dynamic images of the past, present, and possible futures accompanied her run through a fantastically recombined Berlin.

Finally, the twenty-first century series Babylon Berlin, returns to the Weimar Republic as an emblem of decadence and excess with many references to 1920s film culture. simgesi olarak bakıyor.

The radically changing history of Berlin has produced not one but many outstanding Berlin films that make it impossible to pick one favorite among them.

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