Man With a Movie Camera (1929)

Welcome to what will likely be the shortest movie review I will ever write!  I just can’t think of very much to say about Man With a Movie Camera, which is odd since it is such an exquisite piece of film.  There isn’t a plot for me to write about, it’s just a 68-minute montage of scenes about life in Soviet Russia.  People go to work, people die, babies are born, people get hurt, they have fun.  I can’t critique the acting since there are no actors or actresses.  I would talk about the editing since there is plenty of that, but it’s hard to articulate since it really needs to be seen.  If you are interested in video/film editing, you must see Man With a Movie Camera.  It’s easily the best editing to come out of the silent film era.  There’s a lot of cutting edge stuff going on here like trick photography, double exposure, and dutch angles.  In a way, I think this movie was rather prophetic.  The theme seems to be that cameras can be anywhere and capture anything.  That was a little more difficult to pull off in 1929 because movie cameras were so huge and difficult to maneuver then, but 80 years later in an age where just about everyone has a camera built into their cell phone, that theme is certainly very true.  I think the best way to describe Man With a Movie Camera is that it’s an experience.  Just sit back and go along for the ride and never mind that it’s not a conventional movie, it’s a fascinating journey to go on.


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