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Man With A Movie Camera  [DVD]
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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.
"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 ThompsonSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a landmark film. Personally, I love MWAMC but am slightly hesitant to recommend it for all, although I think all should see it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Who ever decided to take a 1928 movie and add a clear, crisp modern recording of music to go with it should be ashamed of themselves It simply doesn't work. Read morePublished 7 months ago by MAG
So heavy! beyond… everything. His films will never grow old - always fresh!!!Published 8 months ago by Christian Lindblad
Great to have all these works together with an informative booklet at a reasonable pricePublished 13 months ago by C MOORES
What can I possibly say about Vertov that hasn't already?
The boxset is beautiful and much larger than I had anticipated. Read more
This is an interesting disc. The Movie Camera is the hero of the film. I enjoyed this as an example of early cinematography exploration. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Revd R. B. Miller
This edition of the movie is superb. Unsurpassed image quality and great sound. The restoration is amazing and really puts the BFI edition to shame. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steve H