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Tutor EmilyGL 's Column

Man with a Movie Camera

Weekly Topic: Recommend movies to your students

Apr 25, 2019

Without doubt, the film which I would recommend to anyone is Dziga Vertov's 1929 film, Man with a Movie Camera. This groundbreaking movie was made by the Soviet avant garde artist , and edited by his wife, Elizaveta Svilova, with the cinematography by Mikhail Kaufman.

Man with a Movie Camera presents everyday Soviet life during one day, from dusk to dawn, in four different cities. Vertov said that it was without story, without theatre. There are no actors, and no plot, just truly inventive filming of ordinary people going about their lives.

It uses many cutting edge techniques, such as slow motion, reverse film, and transposing one image on top of another, as you can see here, with the camera man apparently operating his camera in the beer glass.

It evokes the experimental modernist photography of the time, and I think that as well as being important for movie history, it is a great work of art.

The film is silent, so it doesn't matter what language you speak! Although, different soundtracks have been composed for it.

I have taken the stills from wikipedia, where you can watch the whole thing!


If you like this, you might also enjoy a similar film by Walter Ruttmann, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, from 1927.

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