8.4/10
21,959
128 user 94 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)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1996 Norwegian composer Geir Jenssen (aka "Biosphere") was commissioned by the Tromsø International Film Festival to write a new soundtrack for the movie, using the director's written instructions for the original accompanying piano player. Jenssen wrote half of the soundtrack, turning the other half to Per Martinsen (aka Mental Overdrive). It was used for the Norwegian version, "Mannen med filmkameraet", at the 1996 TIFF. The scored movie was not available after the festival. Soundtrack released in 2001 on CD. 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

The Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Film Centre implemented a 2K restoration of Man with a Movie Camera (Ukrainian title: "Liudyna z Kinoaparatom"). It which was released on DVD in 2011, as part of the collection "Ukrainian Re-Vision" ("Ukrainske Nime"), and as a standalone DVD in the Kolo Dzigi Collection series. This version has a running time of 66 minutes and features three scores, by the following artists: DJ Derbastler (Ivan Moskalenko; UA, 2011), Vitalii Tkachuk's Quartet (UA, 2010), and In the Nursery (UK, 1999). See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1999) See more »

User Reviews

 
All hail Lord Vertov....
10 April 2004 | by bforbettySee all my reviews

Although I had obviously heard of this before watching it, and had been told enthusiastically by all that it was incredibly interesting, I found it hard to believe that a film with a) no storyline, and b) no dialogue or intertitles could be so exciting. I am now more than willing to eat my hat.

This is quite simply the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Probably best described as a documentary about itself (although by no means only this), this film and it's creator were way before their time.

An interesting point to note: I've watched this twice, once with a traditional musical score, and once with a much more dynamic modern score, and it does have to be said that music can make the movie. I'm not a purist, so found the modern score much more interesting.

One of the most essential movies of all time.


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Details

Official Sites:

Dovzhenko Centre | VUFKU | See more »

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

None

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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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