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Man With A Movie Camera [1929] [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Dziga Vertov
  • Format: Full Screen, PAL, Black & White
  • 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: Exempt
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 10 July 2000
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TXII
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,847 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Two versions of Dziga Vertov's fascinating montage of life in Moscow are included on this tape. The first is the original silent version, with music by the Alloy Orchestra. The second version includes a commentary by Yuri Tsivian, Russian silent cinema historian. Vertov makes innovative early use of dissolves, split screen, slow motion and freeze frames in this fascinating document of life in Twenties Russia. The DVD also includes the option of watching the film with a new soundtrack, composed by the In the Nursery orchestra.

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Loved it! With 2 other sound-tracks to listen/watch... to go. Recommend
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Nyman's genius music provides the perfect pulsing rhythm for Vertov's masterpiece. Incredible combination
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Format: Blu-ray
What follows is a review of BFI's DVD version of Man With a Movie Camera. I thought I'd post it here as well because I want to give all the help I can to this Masters of Cinema release. Their track record for releasing classic films is second to none and this release is probably the best available version of a film which I love with a passion. Please note it does NOT come with the Michael Nyman soundtrack that I refer to in my review, but it DOES come with a commentary track alongside a host of extra Vertov works which must be very interesting. I happen to love the Nyman recording and will be buying this in addition to that one. It can't be stressed enough how wonderful this film is and what cause for celebration that Eureka are releasing it - the print promises to be the cleanest yet.

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If you think cinema can and should do more than simply tell stories in traditional character-driven narratives, then Dziga Vertov’s sublime 1929 avant-garde debut silent feature Man with a Movie Camera is manna from Heaven. Voted No.8 in Sight & Sound’s 2012 list of 10 greatest ever films and misleadingly pronounced in 2014 by the same source, “the best documentary” (though firmly refuting fictional narrative cinema it certainly isn’t a documentary in the strictest sense), the film packs a huge reputation which this splendid BFI release firmly justifies. To be clear, I am reviewing the 2008 DVD which comes with no extras aside from useful biographies of the personnel involved. It does come with a wonderful score by the second generation minimalist composer Michael Nyman. Potential buyers should note that BFI have re-released this remastered and restored print (original aspect ratio: 1.
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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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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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