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Cinematic portrait of Brighton features in fringe festival

Brighton Swimming Club are among those who feature in 'Brighton: Symphony of a City'

Students and staff who missed previous screenings of a film about Brighton have another chance to see it, this time as part of the Brighton Fringe festival.

The orchestral music for Brighton: Symphony of a City, which was commissioned by Brighton Festival and received its world premiere during the 2016 Festival, was composed by Ed Hughes, Professor of Music at the University of Sussex and Head of the Music department.

The screening this Friday (1 June) offers a rare chance to hear a live performance of Professor Hughes’ score by Brighton Sinfonietta.

Directed by Professor Hughes’ colleague Lizzie Thynne, a Reader in Film at Sussex, the movie is a rhythmic, poetic portrait of a modern city.

Local residents will recognise some familiar Brighton activities - such as the skate park at The Level, the annual Pride and Burning the Clocks processions, and Brighton Swimming Club taking their daily plunge – but, through vivid juxtaposition of music and image, the film makes us see them anew.

As well as the pleasures and rhythms of work and play, the film also highlights the growing problem of homelessness facing the city.

The project was inspired by Walther Ruttmann’s 1927 silent film, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, with a score later written by Edmund Meisel, although the process of producing the Brighton version was quite different.

Professor Hughes said: “Rather than writing a score after the film was made, Lizzie and I worked collaboratively during the making of it – going back and forth with images and music sections, working out the rhythmic possibilities until we had built up a picture of a day in Brighton. It was a fascinating process.”

As well as contemporary footage, shot in 2015 and 2016, the film features scenes of Brighton from the last century, which Thynne and associate producer Catalina Balan sourced from Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton.

It also includes video contributed by staff and students of the School of Media, Film and Music (MFM) at Sussex.

Friday’s Brighton Fringe festival showing of Brighton: Symphony of a City also includes a screening of Voyage to the Moon, a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film.


Posted on behalf of: Music
Last updated: Thursday, 31 May 2018

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