Man With A Movie Camera (1929) Director: Dziga Vertov
Man With A Movie Camera is an abstract Soviet film depicting various scenes of modern life and technology in the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Moscow, and Odessa. The film, while having no main plot or characters, is famous for its ingenius cinematic and editing techniques (it was edited by Vertov’s wife). It was the director’s opinion that films that tell a story were the new opiate of the masses.
Upon its release, the film’s opening title read:
“The film Man with a Movie Camera represents
AN EXPERIMENTATION IN THE CINEMATIC COMMUNICATION
Of visual phenomena
WITHOUT THE USE OF INTERTITLES
(a film without intertitles)
WITHOUT THE HELP OF A SCENARIO
(a film without a scenario)
WITHOUT THE HELP OF THEATRE
(a film without actors, without sets, etc.)
This new experimentation work by Kino-Eye is directed towards the creation of an authentically international absolute language of cinema – ABSOLUTE KINOGRAPHY – on the basis of its complete separation from the language of theatre and literature.”
Shooting for the film took place over the course of about three years and it has no additional intertitles.
Man With A Movie Camera is good film, especially for those interested in experimental film making and editing. However, it can be challenging to the layperson who may not understand the complex inner workings of the film.