8.4/10
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118 user 85 critic

Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Chelovek s kino-apparatom (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 12 May 1929 (USA)
A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director:

Dziga Vertov

Writer:

Dziga Vertov (scenario)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mikhail Kaufman 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

Taglines:

The Greatest Documentary Ever Made.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Release Date:

12 May 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Living Russia, or The Man with a Camera See more »

Filming Locations:

Kharkov, Ukraine See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,959
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although seemingly set in one city, the film was actually shot in Moscow, Odessa, Kharkiv and Kiev (although part of the Soviet Union at the time, the latter three cities are now in the Ukraine. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Kino International, by arrangement with the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, released a version in 1996 produced by David Shepard and copyrighted by Film Preservation Associates. It runs 68 minutes and has new original music composed and performed by the Alloy Orchestra following the written instructions from the director, Dziga Vertov. The music has been copyrighted by Junk Metal Music in 1996. See more »

Connections

Featured in Nós Que Aqui Estamos por Vós Esperamos (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very touching
7 November 2006 | by univibeSee all my reviews

I'm writing about the Cinematic Orchestra version. It might possibly be the music, but somehow, in the first half of this film, I get overwhelmed by sadness. To the point where I feel I'm gonna start crying. Why? All we see are mundane scenes of everyday life. My daughter told me she has the same reaction. This must be a statement to the highly poetic nature of the film. I had seen the movie before with a different score and it didn't have the same effect. Blame it on the score, I guess.

The fact is, everything we see in this film will be annihilated in the following turbulent years. It's all done with a hand-cranked camera and is very powerful indeed.

I disagree with the other reviewer who compares Dziga Vertov to Leni Reifenstall and calls for his branding as a war criminal. TRIUMPH OF THE WILL was exalting the virtues of the Nazi party itself while this film is more about the communist way of life in general. Even if Stalin turned out to be a war criminal afterward, in my opinion this is different.

This film is a major achievement for it's time and is still relevant.


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