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  • Man With A Movie Camera [VHS]
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Man With A Movie Camera [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mikhail Kaufman
  • Directors: Dziga Vertov
  • Writers: Dziga Vertov
  • Format: Black & White, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Silent, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: May 13, 2003
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008WJDH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Rare video

Customer Reviews

One of the greatest and most influential films ever made.
Scott T. Rivers
The version I saw also has a great score by composer Michael Nyman and written biographies of the Dziga Vertov and michael Nyman.
The Man With The Movie Camera is an excellent piece of work by Dziga Vertov who directs this film with lots of artistic quality.
Matthew G. Sherwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 111 people found the following review helpful By gigitralaine on June 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Vertov's _Man with a Movie Camera_ is not only the hallmark of Russian Constructivist film but one of the greatest films ever made, no hyperbole intended. Vertov's main premise was to create a new city, an Utopian ideal, through montage and editing. The scenes in the film are taken from footage of the three Russian cities of Kiev, Moscow and Odessa.
Unlike many of the other reviewers, I would have to suggest watching the film with the sound off (at least once.) The music, although originally composed by Vertov, has been adapted more recently by the Alloy Orchestra, and can have the tendency to be a distraction. Indeed, Vertov stated that film should be a medium that stands alone, not muddled by the addition of psychology, romance, or music. He placed tremendous value on the camera's ability to distill truth from visual "garbage," with what he termed "Kino-Eye" or "Truth-Eye."
Additionally, I would recommend reading Vlada Petric's meticulous still-by-still dissection of the film---_Constructivism in Film : The Man With the Movie Camera : A Cinematic Analysis (Cambridge Studies in Film)_, as well as Andrei Bely's novel _Petersburg_, which Nabokov cited as one of the four most important literary works of the 20th century and deals in part with a similar urban improvement motif, and of course Vertov's own theoretical writings _Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov_.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Daniel S. on April 17, 2000
Format: DVD
I love silent movies. The grammar of the cinema has been invented during this period. It's amazing to discover that what seems to us truly original or personal in most of our today geniuses was already there in these black and white movies, even in a better way. I am conscious that it demands a peculiar effort to the 1999 movie fan, but the reward is great.
THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA is a 1929 russian movie directed by Dziga Vertov. A breath-taking musical score has been recorded for the reissue of this movie a few years ago. I still have this music in my head three days after having seen the picture ! You will also find in this DVD a really instructive commentary which is absolutely necessary if you want to appreciate all the subtleties of THE MAN OF THE MOVIE CAMERA.
This motion picture is a kind of manifesto, without screenplay. It could have been a documentary but it's not. Certain moments are not so far from the surrealism one can find in the movies of Luis Bunuel shot at the same period. Other scenes of the movie are lessons of cinema that could have been given by, let's say, a Jean-Luc Godard. For instance, Vertov films a train coming with great speed towards the camera, then the man with the movie camera shooting the scene, then the audience watching the train coming on the screen. At this moment, one remembers that one of the first movies ever filmed was, in 1896, the entrance of a train in a french railway station. The audience screamed and left the room in a hurry, 35 years later no one moves.
If you are curious about cinema, if you definitely consider it as an art, if you like to have images haunting your mind during days, then you really should consider THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA as
A DVD for your library.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2002
Format: DVD
The opening titles of MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA introduce the film as an "experiment in the cinematic communication of visible events." They prepare the viewer for a film event without intertitles, scenario, sets, actors, et cetera. "This experimental work aims at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema based on its total separation from the language of theater and literature." If Vertov's prefatory titles do not already awaken in you an irrepressible curiosity, I think there is little else I can say on behalf of "Man With A Movie Camera." The film succeeds in creating a uniquely cinematic language, which is still highly expressive today, even though the film is over seventy years old. I am reluctant to say anything more, partly because other reviews have already sufficiently praised the film, but also because I do not wish to compromise its uniquely cinematic language by further trying to translate it.
I will, however, concur with the previous reviews that this IMAGE DVD Edition is outstanding. The transfer has been digitally remastered from a 35mm negative and features an electrifying new score, which, though newly composed for the DVD, follows Vertov's own music instructions, and is recorded in full, crisp stereo sound. The superb transfer presents the film with vertical black bars, thus preserving the film's original aspect ratio. And, as if that isn't enough, the film is accompanied by an informative audio essay by Yuri Tsivian.
Some DVD producers have concluded that it is not worthwhile to invest time and money into engineering quality releases of silent films. Thus, it is encouraging to find an outstanding DVD edition of such a groundbreaking film from the silent era. This DVD belongs in the library of any serious film lover.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on September 10, 2006
Format: DVD
THE MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA is a film you're either going to love or hate, and it's unlikely you'll find a comfortable mid-ground. It's silent, Russian made, experimental. It opens with a manifesto rejecting inter-title cards, and an affinity to or reliance on theater and literature. It won't reject any of the tricks of cinema, though - including stop-action animation, slow motion, and at times dizzying, machine fire montages. It uses documentary footage to tell its story.

Although it doesn't tell a traditional story the movie does have a structure. It opens in an empty movie hall, records a projectionist queuing up reel one. Cuts to the hall, stop-action animates chairs unfolding. Cuts to the orchestra - conductor's baton is raised, the orchestra is readied and suspended. Enter audience. Love it or hate it, this movie never forgets it's a movie. I loved it. And I loved when the projector started and the real movie started.

And that journey - the one the movie takes - is well described by the second American title, `Living Russia.' We seem to spend most of the movie following a man with an old, hand-cranked, tripod supported movie camera as he travels through some Russian city or other. We, over his shoulder, seem to go everywhere and observe everything - a young woman sleeping in bed, people sleeping on park benches, store-front mannequins at rest. Eventually the woman and bench sleepers awake, the mannequins are animated, and we travel in time through the work and recreational life of a city. Then it's to the foundry, the cigarette packing plant, the beach, the volleyball court....

Some people will find this art house movie terribly self-absorbed and its lack of a conventional narrative frustrating.
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