Thursday, August 30, 2007

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

*****
USSR

Certainly the most famous of Dziga Vertov's sensory onslaughts and probably the most exciting. It's similar to the 'Symphonies' of the period (to Berlin, Paris etc.) in that it's a consummately crafted, endlessly fascinating document of a time and place (or places - namely Odessa, Moscow and Kiev); though Vertov is much more interested than Ruttmann & co. in documenting the cunning and allure of the movie camera and its romancing of the cinemagoer. He employs all sorts of visual trickery - split-screen, superimpositions, stop-motion, slow-motion, fast-motion, super-fast-motion - though even at its barest and most organic, his imagery is stunning.

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