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Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
"Chelovek s kino-apparatom" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  12 May 1929 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 13,477 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 65 critic

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mikhail Kaufman ...
The cameraman
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

12 May 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Living Russia, or The Man with a Camera  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning there is a long explanation of what this film is about and that it is of experimental origin. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Homestarrunner.com: Everything Else, Volume 1 (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Cinema Grows in 1929
10 May 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

After watching The Man with a Movie Camera, I was not only confused but terrified at the same time. Experiencing many images in the span of an hour made this movie mind-boggling and creepy. What caught my attention right off the bat was how the director's camera and editing techniques were amazing for being made in the 1920's. Throughout the film, there were many camera shots of a town, but in a unique way. Some angles were shot from above, below, and even on objects that were constantly moving around the town. A great editing technique used was a split screen showing a different movement on top of the screen then from the bottom. The town could be moving at a regular pace at one point where the next time the film is sped up conveying trauma and fast motion through the actual film. At one point in the movie, a camera was setup to show a train coming right at the lens. I thought the train was going to hit the camera and the person shooting the film. Right as the train gets to the camera, it lowers into a bunker under the train as it passes. Great camera techniques were used to give powerful feeling to that particular scene. Later in the movie, many images of eyes would appear very fast and then disappear. This occurred frequently throughout the movie and struck me as being weird and disturbing. Showing women work and pack cigarettes and then flashing to a pair of eyes seems very odd to me. What I do find interesting is how Vertov was able to edit these scenes so quickly together. Over the whole movie, he muse have taken so many random camera angles and shots that when he edited them together, he loved it. Overall, I thought this movie was educational in the history of film. It shows how talented directors were back in the 20's and how history has played a big role in camera and editing techniques.


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