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City Symphony

Spanning a century of cinema, these GOMA sessions pair movies about cities with stunning new live soundscapes.
By Sarah Ward
March 23, 2023
By Sarah Ward
March 23, 2023

When you enter a darkened room to commune with cinema, you stare at a big screen. That silver surface in front of you is the place where celluloid dreams are made, but it's also a window. Peer into it and you'll see the world — including sights you spy daily, just cast in a whole new light. GOMA's new season of flicks about cities firmly falls into that category, especially given that you can spot the Brisbane CBD from outside the South Brisbane building.

City Symphony surveys movies from across an entire century, all featuring depictions of bustling urban spaces. GOMA's Australian Cinematheque doesn't just want you to watch, however, but also to listen. So, it's pairing its chosen flicks with stunning new live soundscapes — or you can catch them with their original soundtracks, the choice is yours.

Production still from Calcutta 1969 / Dir: Louis Malle / Image courtesy: Gaumont.

Each title shows twice: first with its newly composed accompaniment, then a week later in its OG form. The initial sessions happen on Sundays monthly, then the second the following Saturday. You'll need to pay for the live show, but the followup screening is free to attend.

As for what you'll be watching, highlights include 2021's Lines, which roves over Bratislava; four films that explore New York, Tokyo and Stockholm; the Berlin-set People on Sunday from 1930; and 1969's Calcutta.

And, the list of talents doing the honours with the tunes spans Timothy Fairless, Johnny Ng, Madeleine Cocolas, Zemzemeh, hazards of swimming naked, Matt Hsu's Obscure Orchestra and more.

Production still from People on Sunday 1930 / Dir: Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer / Image courtesy: Praesens Film.

Top image: Timothy Fairless.

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