Brighton: symphony of a city

Thynne, Lizzie and Hughes, Ed (2018) Brighton: symphony of a city. [Video]

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The project, originally conceived as a live cinema event for the Brighton Festival, 2016 re-interprets 'the city symphony', a key film genre of the silent era through a collaboration between Thynne as director and Ed Hughes as composer. It explores how the symphonic might be conceived to evoke a modern city in images and music through commenting on and mimicking Berlin: Symphony of a City (Ruttmann, 1927), a film at the heart of discussions about the relation of the 'poetic' and 'political' in documentary. It is inspired by Guy Maddin's suggestion that the potential of one technology, in the case silent film is never usually exhausted before another - here the 'talkies' succeeds it, and addresses the challenge of a purely visual evocation where meaning is created through graphic montage, and musical juxtaposition. By producing a musical, associative structure rather than one led by sound, speech and narrative it draws on the marginalized strand of documentary history represented by Berlin, A propos de Nice (Vigo, 1929) and Rain (Ivens,1930) which emphasizes the visual potential of the medium to imagine space and place. Symphonic form - the bringing together of diverse elements of the city into a set of movements - gives shape and pace to disparate activities and events; freedom from conventional story form allows for the serendipitous and the everyday to be foregrounded creating what Taussig suggests is 'a peripheral vision' not studied contemplation, a knowledge that is imageric and sensate rather than ideational.' Shortlisted for BAFTSS practice-led research awards, 2017. Reviews: Screenworks 7.2. Main feature on the dvd 'Symphonic Visions' from Metier, 2018.

Item Type: Video
Keywords: City symphony film; documentary; music
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Research in Creative and Performing Arts
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures > PN1995.9.A-Z Other special topics, A-Z > PN1995.9.D6 Documentary films
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Lizzie Thynne
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 15:27
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2018 11:02

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Brighton: Symphony of a CityG1878Brighton FestivalUnset