filmmaker & writer

Brighton: Symphony of a City

A kaleidoscopic view of this unique seaside town, which evokes the past in the present and the extraordinary in the everyday. A vibrant score by Ed Hughes animates daily activities and festive events in the seaside town of Brighton, wittily echoing the silent classic, Berlin Symphony of a City (Ruttmann, 1927). All-weather bathers plunge into winter seas at sunrise. Residents work, commute, flirt and play and do surprising things in their offices. Homelessness and gentrification collide; forgotten attractions and rituals are glimpsed in sparkling amateur movies. ‘Father Neptune’ is dunked in the waves in a raucous custom from 1951; 1930s marchers celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union and modern protestors commemorate Gaza. The elegant ferris wheel, a contemporary icon destined for destruction, marks the passage of time. The day culminates in night-time revelry, astounding puppetry and the winter solstice festival, ‘The Burning of the Clocks’.

Brighton Symphony of a City was a commission for the 50th anniversary of the Brighton Festival where it premiered at the Dome with a live performance of the score by the Orchestra of Sound and Light.

Other live performances include Brighton Fringe Festival (1 June 2018) and The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (7 October 2016).

‘A vibrant and engaging portrait of the famously bohemian city by the sea’
Silent London

‘A mesmerising film… an ambitious and impressive project. Its strength is in its brave exploration of the ordinary and the everyday, both in terms of contemporary culture and the use of archive’

‘A beautifully shot film… little snippets of everyday life are superbly captured, well thought out and witty’
The Argus)


Director’s statement

Honourable Mention, BAFTSS Practice Research Awards, 2017.

Producer/Director/Camera: Lizzie Thynne
Composer: Ed Hughes
Associate Producer/Camera: Catalina Balan
Archive: Courtesy of Screen Archive South East
Editor: Phil Reynolds