The Man With the Movie Camera

The Man with the Movie Camera, is an experimental 1929 silent documentary film, with no story and no actors, by Russian director Dziga Vertov, edited by his wife Elizaveta Svilova.

Vertov's feature film, produced by the Ukrainian film studio VUFKU, presents urban life in Odessa and other Soviet cities. From dawn to dusk Soviet citizens are shown at work and at play, and interacting with the machinery of modern life. To the extent that it can be said to have "characters," they are the cameramen of the title and the modern Soviet Union he discovers and presents in the film.

This film is famous for the range of cinematic techniques Vertov invents, deploys or develops, such as double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, stop motion animations and a self-reflexive style (at one point it features a split screen tracking shot; the sides have opposite Dutch angles).

The film, originally released in 1929, was silent, and accompanied in theaters with live music. It has since been released a number of times with different soundtracks.


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