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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA

SYNOPSIS:
This playful film is at once a documentary of a day in the life of the Soviet Union (or at least Moscow), a documentary of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film. Even the editing of the film is documented. We often see the cameraman who is purportedly making the film, but we rarely, if ever, see any of the footage he seems to be in the act of shooting.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The trigger for Madman's re-release of this film (other than its imminent arrival on DVD) is the score written for it by Michael Nyman a few years ago - more than 70 years after the film was made. Announced to be an experiment in creating a "truly international language of cinema" it is an early example of self referential filmmaking.

It's some times fascinating, sometimes fun, although some of Nyman's score is too insistent for the images, creating variously a frenzied or draining mood, as distinct from works like Baraka, where the music and the images are more allowing of a contemplative engagement for the audience. Still, it does tie all the images together with its repetitious motifs - echoing the sometimes repetitious images.

The black and white cinematography is edited with the sort of randomness that we might experience walking through Moscow in 1929 - although some close ups give dramatic punctuation to this mood, adding emphasis to everyday objects.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (G)
(Russia, 1929)

Chelovek s kino-apparatom

CAST: Documentary

DIRECTOR: Dziga Vertov

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Kaufman

MUSIC: Michael Nyman (new score composed 2002)

RUNNING TIME: 68 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 1, 2005 (in double bill with The Mysterious Geographical Explorations of Jasper Morello)







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