Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera” (1929)

Dziga Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera” has shown the world the capabilities of the cinematographic camera. The silent movie was advised to be accompanied with a fast-moving musical score. Since its release the film has been rendered with many soundtracks.

Man with a Movie Camera took 4 years to film. It documents the daily life of modern Soviet city life, spanning four cities — Kharkiv, Kiev, Moscow and Odessa. The manifesto at the beginning of the film heralds the revolutionary stamp of the cinema as a medium:

“The film Man with a Movie Camera represents

AN EXPERIMENTATION IN THE CINEMATIC COMMUNICATION
Of visual phenomena
WITHOUT THE USE OF INTERTITLES
(a film without intertitles)
WITHOUT THE HELP OF A SCENARIO
(a film without a scenario)
WITHOUT THE HELP OF THEATRE
(a film without actors, without sets, etc.)

This new experimentation work by Kino-Eye is directed towards the creation of an authentically international absolute language of cinema – ABSOLUTE KINOGRAPHY – on the basis of its complete separation from the language of theatre and literature.”

Dziga Vertof tried to break the mold of cinematic art (and indeed succeeded) which got stuck in the tradition of stage plays. He created a visual experience resembling the speed of thought. A stream of free-associating consciousness without the need of any dialogue, scenario, intertitles, and characters. The film critic Roger Ebert analyzes the film beautifully.

It is a wonderfully progressive experimentation of “editing for the sake of editing” through the “kino eye”. Vertov liberates the viewer from continuity editing and helps establishment of the discontinuous editing forming the Soviet Montage Theory.

This is a part of the Technical Notes series of Nature Documentaries aiming to compile useful technical, theoretical and practical knowledge for documentary filmmakers.

Vertov gerçeküstü bir açılış sahnesiyle izleyiciye adeta uçan tekmeyle dalıyor.

 

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