Prickling with tension and loaded with energy, Alex Soloviev successfully conveys the vitality and spirit of the city in his short film, Berlin – the inner layer.
In stark contrast to his previous Berlin short, Everyday Berlin (a serene visual poem), a combination of constant movement, fast cutting, clever transitions and a pounding soundtrack gets the pulse racing as the tempo builds.
And just when it seems that tension has abated, a figure jumps from the Park Inn hotel, base flying over Alexanderplatz.
Along with the skilful use of the editing techniques mentioned earlier, the scattering of sounds from the city in the soundtrack seems to pull the viewer into some scenes.
Many of the clips were filmed during the Festival of Lights and watching the busker playing The Locomotion really transported me back, as I remember taking photos of the Humboldt University as he played behind me on the edge of the Bebelplatz.
There are some familiar sights featured – such as the Berliner Dom, the view from the observation decks of the Park Inn and the Funkturm – but as with Everyday Berlin, these serve to form merely the background.
The real star is the electrifying vibrancy of Berlin.
In Soloviev’s own words:
It has endless edges, tints and singularities. Berlin is a power city. You can feel it there. It’s positive and razor sharp simultaneously. Berlin can be strong and complex for its visitors.
I tried my very best to catch the spirit of it. At least how I felt it running in the cold streets with my camera.
For a fully immersive experience, put on some headphones (as Alex Soloviev himself advises on his Vimeo channel), press play and let Berlin – the inner layer propel you into the beating heart of Berlin.
Berlin – the inner layer