Burnt in Memory

Subtitled “My Lover Has Steel Legs and Street Lights for Eyes,” this wordless portrait of Chicago upholds the tradition of the “city symphony,” a nonfiction filmmaking genre that reached the height of its popularity during the late silent and early sound eras. It’s densely edited but straightforward in its overall design, with sections devoted to sets of similar images (kitchens, paintings, people at work, et cetera). Some of the shots are lovely, but many feel generic or touristic, and even at 73 minutes the movie feels too long. Director Robert Stockwell and editor Max Gold just don’t have that many ideas about how to sequence images dynamically, and the moody, improvised score operates within only a narrow emotional range.