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
The main camera seen in the film is a French-made Debrie Parvo Model L, with the metal silver and black body. Other cameras used are a Debrie "Interview" type A with a wooden body, seen when the cameraman carries it through the market crowd and on the beach; a Debrie Parvo Model K, distinguished by more use of aluminum in its body and the tachometer gauge, seen carried by the cameraman on the moving gantry, in the mine and at the dam; an ICA or Zeiss Ikon Kinamo compact 35mm used at the traffic intersection scenes; a Debrie Labrely GV Model F and finally, a Debrie "Sept"--another compact camera. See more »
At the beginning there is a long explanation of what this film is about and that it is of experimental origin. See more »
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 »
While I thoroughly enjoyed this film (for several reasons previously mentioned), I think it is important to clear up a one thing that has been repeatedly mistaken in these user comments.
This was NOT produced under Lenin's Soviet Regime, but rather shortly after Stalin took over in 1928. The government, then, disapproved of Vertov's film style, not seeing the proletariat message but rather only the formalistic errors that they saw as inherent. After passing directives to forbid formalist methods of production (most likely specifically for Eisenstein and Vertov), Vertov moved to Kiev to produce this film, where I apparently the government was less strict.
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