Detroit techno stalwart Jeff Mills will perform a live “cinemix” during an upcoming screening of Walther Ruttmann’s 1927 silent film Berlin – die Sinfonie der Großstadt (translation: Berlin: Symphony of a Great City) at Hackesche Höfe Kino on March 8. Having had an intimate relationship with Berlin since the early ’90s, Mills will use his plethora of musical skills to compliment the movie. Here’s what he had to say about his upcoming venture:
“I’ve discovered that in the process of soundtracking period films and historic pieces of work, a particular observation for the nuances surrounding the film’s period can be factored into the creation equation. This film, with its apolitical, provocative and moral insinuations, commandeers the camera lens to capture Berlin in a few parallel realities. One of the carefree and affluent, another of the downtrodden, and another less noticeable one of the political breakdown that would soon engulf the country and then the world. By viewing the film many times for the task of memorizing it, I could not help but imagine what people captured in those frames might have been thinking or sensing. The film captured the physicality of the city, but not the sentiment.
“Berlin: Symphony of a Great City is in many ways the symphony of any great metropolis. It captures Berlin exhaling the fumes of productivity, the sensations of modernity and the vitality that comes with the German people trying to find a better way upward or forward. By having lived in Berlin Mitte for about a decade, I have fond and special memories attached to it—ones that have made working on this particularly unique, and unlike any film project I ever worked on. Understanding Berlin firsthand, and having a knowledge of the vast differences between day and night there, helped me greatly in shaping the peripheral view and soundtrack for the film.”