Directed by: Dziga Vertov
Starring: Mikhail Kaufman
Runtime: 1h 8m
Genre: Silent, Documentary, Avant-garde
Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera captures a day in the life of the Russian proletariat in 1920’s Soviet Union. The quick sequences and endless jump cuts depict several soviet union cities, including: Odessa, Kharkov and Kiev.1 The structure is experimental for its time by incorporating a wide range of shots and avant-garde film techniques as well as veering from the standard ‘stage’ plot. Man With a Movie Camera simultaneously shows a broad day in the life of the proletariat while providing a glimpse behind the scenes of the making of the film. At times the film even stops to show the editor, his wife Elizaveta Svilova, and begins again once she has completed her edit. This film was aimed to expand and challenge the contemporary structure of film that was driven by staging, plot, and intertitles. Man With a Movie Camera is the culmination of Vertov’s kinok movement to expand the artistic bounds of film.2 This legendary film stands the test of time with its creativity, juxtaposition, and challenge to the contemporary norm.
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