A Man with a Movie Camera

ManwithamoviecameraHaving to watch this film in class was definitely interesting. Knowing it was a black and white documentary instantly discouraged me from watching it, yes I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

However, having read around the film and found out what it was about made me voluntarily watch it in my free time. No, nobody paid me for it. The film is an experimental 1929 silent documentary film, with no story and no actors, by Soviet director Dziga Vertov. Being it a silent film, the audience heavily depend on the quality of the filming and the story line to keep them engaged however there isn’t much of a story line!

‘The Man with a Movie Camera’ is simply a film taking you through the days events in a Soviet Union city in the 1920’s. There is no dialogue, no narrator, just simply a rolling camera. In this film documentary Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. Even with no titles or narration, Vertov still naturally conveys the marvels of the modern city.

The film is particularly famous for the range of cinematic techniques Vertov invents or develops. Although I, like many others instantly refuse to watch something that for 1. is black and white 2. very old and 3. silent!! I still highly recommend watching it and developing your own judgment!

~ In the British Film Institute’s 2012 Sight & Sound poll, film critics voted Man with a Movie Camera the 8th best film ever made. In 2014 Sight & Sound also named it the best documentary of all time. ~


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