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Man with a Movie Camera
     

The Man with a Movie Camera

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Soviet director Dziga Vertov's experimental film grew out of his belief, shared by his editor, Elizaveta Svilova (who was also his wife), and his cinematographer, Mikhail Kaufman (also his brother), that the true goal of cinema should be to present life as it is lived. To that end, the filmmakers offer a day-in-the-life portrait of a city from dawn until dusk, though

Overview

Soviet director Dziga Vertov's experimental film grew out of his belief, shared by his editor, Elizaveta Svilova (who was also his wife), and his cinematographer, Mikhail Kaufman (also his brother), that the true goal of cinema should be to present life as it is lived. To that end, the filmmakers offer a day-in-the-life portrait of a city from dawn until dusk, though they actually shot their footage in several cities, including Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. After an opening statement, there are no words in the film (neither voice-over nor titles), just dazzling imagery, kinetically edited - as a celebration of the modern city with a marked emphasis on its buildings and machinery. The Image Entertainment DVD edition of the film offers a musical score composed from notes left by the director, which adds greatly to the impact of the film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
As a document of "pure" cinema that favors the visual over the aural, The Man With a Movie Camera is a tremendously exciting work that soars over its limitations as a product of the Soviet state system. Director Dziga Vertov's claim that narrative cinema was inadequate to present real life is certainly arguable. But the assertion that this film is an unmediated presentation of daily life is undercut by the film's optical tricks and, more importantly, by its stinting of any portrayal of poverty, crime, and other social ills -- not surprising given the heavy hand of the party censors. Nevertheless, The Man With a Movie Camera is so energetically conceived and executed, with dozens of memorable images flying by almost more quickly than you can absorb them, that it's easy to cast aside the political limitations imposed on the project and enjoy it as one of the great film odes to 20th century urban life. The Image Entertainment DVD edition of the film is highly recommended; it contains a musical score that seems to anticipate Philip Glass, as well as astute commentary by scholar Yuri Tsivian on an alternate audio track.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/14/2017
UPC:
0889290092052
Original Release:
1929
Rating:
NR
Source:
Flicker Alley
Time:
1:08:00
Sales rank:
44,930

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The Man with a Movie Camera 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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