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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA

Dziga Vertov | 1929 | 68 MINS
USSR
In this experimental documentary, a man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

In Detail

Vertov’ dazzling classic and playful silent film is a documentary of a day in the life in the Ukraine (locations in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa). It is also a documentary of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film.

Starting with a look around the city in the morning before things start to happen, it then moves through the day, often coming back to the same site or individual at different times. The incidents shown range from routine daily activities to recreation to emergencies, with everything in between has a wonderful modern music score that is based on the director's notes.

A film that broke away from the theatrical mindset that all films of that era followed. Vertov wanted to show how all aspects of society are intertwined and that there is an overall happiness and contentment within Russia under Lenin. This propaganda film was used to invoke emotion as well as a feeling of awe for the association of man and machine. It is helped by a wonderful modern music score that is based on the director's notes.

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