Saturday, December 17, 2005
man with a movie camera
christmas gift ideas
about half the time i come up with some real duds. today i was trying to recall gifts that were actually hits. man with a movie camera is always a good one. this is the most beautiful and amazing film, made in the late twenties by Dziga Vertov. there is nothing i can say that will do it justice or come close to describing it. man with a movie camera really defies description. if you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so. it puts you in the center of 1920s Russia. you are there.
Dziga Vertov's masterpiece is an application of "life as it is lived." It makes the cameraman the hero, and is one of the most dynamic experiments with montage; the film also uses trick photography, animation, slow motion and speeded-up shots. "A study in film truth on an almost philosophical level. It does deliberately what others try hard to avoid--destroys its own illusions, in the hope that reality will emerge from the process not as a creature of screen illusion but as a liberated spirit" (Films and Filming). Silent.
customer review from amazon:
Vertov's _Man with a Movie Camera_ is not only the hallmark of Russian Constructivist film but one of the greatest films ever made, no hyperbole intended. Vertov's main premise was to create a new city, an Utopian ideal, through montage and editing. The scenes in the film are taken from footage of the three Russian cities of Kiev, Moscow and Odessa.
Unlike many of the other reviewers, I would have to suggest watching the film with the sound off (at least once.) The music, although originally composed by Vertov, has been adapted more recently by the Alloy Orchestra, and can have the tendency to be a distraction. Indeed, Vertov stated that film should be a medium that stands alone, not muddled by the addition of psychology, romance, or music. He placed tremendous value on the camera's ability to distill truth from visual "garbage," with what he termed "Kino-Eye" or "Truth-Eye."