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Michael Nyman's - Man with a Movie Camera [DVD]

22 customer reviews

Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Dziga Vertov
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Jun. 2008
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017QMXLU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,143 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Michael Nyman s MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA
A film by Dziga Vertov

Man With a Movie Camera is an extraordinary piece of filmmaking, a montage of urban Russian life showing the people of the city at work and at play, and the machines that keep the city going. It was Vertov's first full-length film, and he used all the cinematic techniques at his disposal - dissolves, split screen, slow motion and freeze-frames - to produce a work that is exhilarating and intellectually brilliant.

This special edition DVD features a unique soundtrack specially composed by Michael Nyman and performed by the Michael Nyman band.

Michael Nyman's music has reached its largest audience by way of his film scores. Nyman has been researching the period of extraordinary creativity which followed the Revolution and lasted throughout most of the 1920s. Key to this period was Dziga Vertov's extraordinary film Man With a Movie Camera which documents the full spectrum of 1929 Soviet urban life with dazzling inventiveness. It was Vertov's exuberant montage and energetic lyricism which inspired Nyman to create his extraordinary score.

Special features

  • Remastered and restored
  • Fully uncompressed PCM stereo audio

USSR | 1929 | black and white | silent with music score | 68 minutes | DVD5 | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD

From Amazon.co.uk

"An experiment in the creative communication of visible events without the aid of inter-titles, a scenario or theatre "aiming at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema," is how the inter-titles describe what is about to be seen. Bold claims indeed, but in its awesome sophistication The Man with a Movie Camera does live up to them, making it one of the most contemporary of silent movies. The subject, the life of a city from dawn to dusk, was not original even for 1928, but its treatment was--the cameraman as voyeur, social commentator and prankster, exploiting every trick permissible with the technology of the day (slow motion, dissolves, split screens, freeze frames, stop motion animation, etc). A young woman stirs in her bed, apparently fighting a nightmare in which a cameraman is about to be crushed by an oncoming train. She wakes up, and the sequence is revealed to be a simple trick shot. As she blinks her weary eyes, the shutters of her window mimic her viewpoint, and the iris of the camera spins open. Self-reflexive wit like this abounds here--there's even a delicious counterpoint made between the splicing of film and the painting of a woman's nails.

The film was the brainchild of the Moscow-based film-maker Dziga Vertov (real name Denis Arkadyevich Kaufman), a furiously inventive poet of the cinema who made innumerable shorts about daily life (such as the much-quoted "Kino-Pravda"), and played at candid camerawork and cinema vérité long before they became the clichés of the television age. The editing has a fantastic abandon that makes most pop videos look sluggish. --David Thompson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Oct. 2000
Format: DVD
I first saw this on the big-screen and it stands up as one of the few films I could have watched again immediately. For an experimental film from 1920's Russia (an experimental and exciting time for the arts all round in the early years of the Soviet state) it's stood the test of time remarkably well. Yes it's 'arty', yes, it could be accused of self-indulgence, but it works! It has trick shots, odd camera-angles, multiple images and serves as a fascinating insight into a day in the life of a Soviet city. The the man with the movie camera himself makes regular intrusions into frame.
And the new soundtrack by In the Nursery works well too - it's not exactly cutting-edge, but its pleasant, electronic soundwashes sit well with the film and never try to overpower it. It's been criticised somewhat unfairly, but after all,Dziga was using the most up-to-the-minute technology he could get, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD
This has got to be the definitive DVD version of Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera.
The choice of two scores plus a separate commentary track makes this package even more appealing. Most notable score is by In The Nursery who manage to produce a musical blendof the symphonic with the modern, the ambient with the danceable and the acoustic with the synthetic.
Watching Vertov's masterpiece with In The Nursery's specially commissioned score makes each and every viewing a new voyage of discovery. A highly recommended purchase indeed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mattia Varriale on 8 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dziga Vertov, 1929, definitely not the kind of movie to watch on a saturday night with friends.
But a must see for those interested in the history of film. As this "movie" was produced - 77 years ago -, the concept of film was completely different to what it is now. This shows how a man, without the filmic knowledge of a present-day director, manages to make breath-taking scenes never shot before.
Dziga Vertov, can probably be seen as one of the inventors of the first long running movies.
A must see, and an historical masterpiece!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 July 2013
Format: DVD
Like C. Th. Dreyer's `La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc' (1928), Dziga Vertov's silent movie (1929) had a major impact on cinematographic techniques. While C. Th. Dreyer's movie excels through its camera movements and focal changes of lenses, D. Vertov's film shines through its shooting angles and, most importantly, through its editing with one image shots, split screens and a beautifully flowing movement throughout the whole film, based on inside screen motions, the transitions and the links between the scenes and a splendid timing.
If its techniques didn't influence directly major filmmakers, D. Vertov was at least their predecessor. One thinks immediately of Alain Resnais and Leni Riefenstahl.
Dziga Vertov was perhaps himself inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Regarding the content, Dziga Vertov's movie is also groundbreaking. It is not only a movie in a movie, for there is a third level: D. Vertov adds the projection of his own movie in his movie! It is also the first movie which records the birth of a human being.
Moreover, D. Vertov edited his shots with juxtapositions, like wedding/divorce scenes or the change of left/right directions inside the screen.

Michael Nyman's music underlines admirably the image flow in this astonishing movie.
This eternal masterpiece of world cinema is a must see for all movie buffs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2009
Format: DVD
A well designed film by Dziga Vertov's that looks like a documentary than show the man and the city. We are constantly looking at fictional city where it is compared to the man with a camera. This film shot in black and white in 1929 is often compared to "Berlin: symphony of a great city" however this film is much more.

The real interest in the movie is how it is cut, and the choices of what to film. Every time you turn around you will see something not of other documentaries. What is real and what is film reality?

The voice over is just as good if not better than the original film as it describes how the film was made.

An added plus is just looking at the ancient technology. And then again how they are ahead of us in electric transportation.

This film requires several viewings.

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Fairweather on 24 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
I first heard this piece live in Bristol at a Michael Nyman concert, and was blown away with it. I bought the DVD expecting it to be a poor relation to the live performance. But nothing could be furthet from the truth. I don't know exactly what it is that makes it special, but I think it is a unique combination of music and the original movie. Every time I watch it the images and music create a wonderfully special atmosphere. Ok, being a Nyman fan I am biased, but of all the Nyman music I have heard this is in my top 5 favorite works.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of those many old films that film buffs tend to read about. It had a sort of uninspiring title but it is well worth watching. Vertov ( not his real name. That was Kaufmann) and his brother certainly made a fascinating portrait of a Russian town in 24 hours- although it was actually filmed in three towns over the period -. The editing is superb and any one interested in this side of film making should watch this film and take notes. The only bugbear I found with this copy is the soundtrack which is so repitative that one tends to get slightly bored. It is, of course, a modern insertion. A pity really. It would have been better to have kept the original- whilst not so inspiring, perhaps- if only to maintain the film makers' ideas.
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