Thursday, August 30, 2007

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)


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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