Clearly inspired by Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin, die Symphonie der Großstadt (1927), in 1930 Von Barsy made (at his own expense) a film about a shopping street in Rotterdam. The unit of place (the street) defines the unit of measure (loose street scenes) within the unit of time (a puppet show with curtains that open and then close again at the end). The classic dramaturgy of Hoogstraat provides the framework in which an ‘absolute film’ takes place.
In Hoogstraat, motion and shading are the determining factors in the unusual image compositions. Occasionally Von Barsy uses a form of ‘film rhyme’: he cuts from a hat in a shop window to the hat of a street musician, for example. Despite such a frivolous joke, his film fits perfectly within the demands that the Filmliga placed on a ‘true’ film.