In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
This playful film is at once a documentary of a day in the life of the Soviet Union, a documentary of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film. Even the editing of the film is documented. We often see the cameraman who is purportedly making the film, but we rarely, if ever, see any of the footage he seems to be in the act of shooting! Written by
George S. Davis
Dziga Vertov's "Cheloveks Kino Apparatom" is one of the greatest documentaries to come out from Russia or from anywhere, anytime. It is a silent experiment in cinematography and editing or as Vertov put it - a film without a script, without any inter titles etc. His wife, Yelizaveta Svilova edited the film and his brother Mikhail Kaufman photographed it. Kaufman is actually the "man with the movie camera" in it.
When Kaufman saw the edited film he wasn't happy at all. Two brothers had a fight and never worked together again. Kaufman didn't agree with Vertov's style and his statement against cinema that was too dependent on literature and theater. Vertov's aim was to create a different language and he certainly succeeded. "Cheloveks Kino Apparatom" is a delightful work and it is too incredible for 1929 when it was made. I saw it with many different soundtracks and one of the most interesting ones is by Alloy Orchestra. By the way, Vertov's other brother Boris Kaufman won an Oscar for On the Waterfront. Some other documentaries I loved were Nanook by Flaherty, controversial Olympia by Riefenstahl, Last Spring on Sergei Paradjanov, and Sorrow and Pity by Ophuls.
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