THE CITY ON FILM Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
Cities always look best in movies, and movies have fixed the images we carry around of New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Los Angeles. Toronto, not so much.
True to its rigorous self, the Goethe-Institut has gone way beyond Taxi Driver and Breathless to put together a three-night series of city films concentrating on the great metropoli of the 1920s and 30s.
Those decades overlap with the creative explosion of cinema's late silent era, which is no coincidence. On Wednesday (March 16), the Goethe screens Walter Ruttmann's Berlin: Symphony Of A Great City, and Man With A Movie Camera, the hugely influential work by Soviet wizard Dziga Vertov. Both films whip up subjective impressions of life in the streets.
Vertov's is a masterpiece of camera magic and interventionist aesthetics, pushing the act of making images front-of-mind for anyone watching it. The series kicks off Tuesday with three documentaries by Ted Remerowski and Marrin Cannell about Paris, Berlin and Shanghai at their decadent heights. (March 15-17, Goethe-Institut).