Man with a Movie Camera (1929) - Plot Summary Poster


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

  • 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!

  • Experimenting with a wide array of diverse cinematic techniques, the indefatigable director, Dziga Vertov, incorporates jump cuts, odd angles, split screens, double exposures, extreme close-ups, and a rapid-fire montage to document the interaction of the ordinary Soviet citizen with the hectic rhythm of life. Throughout the course of a single day, from dusk till dawn, always accompanied by the rhythmic hum of the machinery, Vertov offers a grand tour of Moscow, Odessa and Kiev at breakneck speed, describing what the main character, the unknown masses, see.


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