Man With A Movie Camera (1929) Director: Dziga Vertov
Man With A Movie Camera is an abstract Soviet film depicting various scenes of modern life and technology within the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Moscow, and Odessa. This non-linear film, while having no main plot or characters, is famous for its ingenius cinematic editing techniques (it was actually edited by Vertov’s wife) –it was the director’s opinion that conventional films which tell a story are the new opiate of the masses.
Upon its release, the film’s opening title read:
“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 by Kino-Eye is directed toward 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.”
Shooting for the film took place over the course of about three years and it has no other additional intertitles. This is a fascinating exploration into cinematic experimentation.