'City Symphony' Documentary films
The Man with the Movie Camera - Dziga Vertov (1929, USSR)
We watched the version with Cinematic Orchestra Soundtrack (Ninja Tune 2002).
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Walter Ruttmann (1927)
Links & Reading
Finisterre (2003) Paul Kelly & Kieran Evans
'London has always been a source of influence, inspiration and curiosity. Paul Kelly and Kieran Evans' FINISTERRE tries to identify the dreams that London holds for so many, and the reality of the city -- the spaces between the landmarks, the spaces Londoners inhabit. Presented and scored by Saint Etienne, the film takes us on a journey from the suburbs into the heart of the city over an imaginary 24 hours.' IMDB
Filmmaker Paul Kelly and Saint Etienne talk about their unique trio of films documenting the changing face and disappearing places of the capital, including the influence of Patrick Keiller - http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/interviews/saint-etienne-paul-kelly-london-trilogy
Patrick Keiller is best known for his series of film essays, London 1994, Robinson in Space 1997, and Robinson in Ruins 2010, in which a fictional, unseen scholar Robinson undertakes exploratory journeys around England, prompting him to reflect on the relationship of landscape and place to greater global themes.'.
Of Time and the City - Terence Davies (1945- ), filmmaker and writer, takes us, sometimes obliquely, to his childhood and youth in Liverpool. He's born Catholic and poor; later he rejects religion. He discovers homo-eroticism, and it's tinged with Catholic guilt. Enjoying pop music gives way to a teenage love of Mahler and Wagner. Using archival footage, we take a ferry to a day on the beach. Postwar prosperity brings some positive change, but its concrete architecture is dispiriting. Contemporary colors and sights of children playing may balance out the presence of unemployment and persistent poverty. Davies' narration is a mix of his own reflections and the poems and prose of others.
Rien que les heures (English: Nothing But Time or Nothing But the Hours) is a 1926 experimental silent film by Brazilian director Alberto Cavalcanti showing the life of Paris through one day in 45 minutes. Cavalcanti made a similar film about Berlin the next year.
Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand's Manhatta (1921)
Andre Sauvage's Etudes sur Paris (1928)