Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Man with a Movie Camera

Dziga Vertov, 1929, 66m, USSR

At 66 minutes and a new addition to the Sight and Sound 2012 Top Ten once in a decade list, I felt impelled to view this film, and it was by no means a disappointment. There is nothing of the stiltedness once associates with films of this period and it might have been made last year. Apart from the nostalgia of freezing a lost time, it is an exuberant portrayal of the perpetual motion that is our extraordinary mundane existence. One senses the hope and vitality of nascent Sovietism of this post Lenin early Stalin time. Whirling gears and spindles, men and women intent on their industrial tasks, crowds forming and dispersing in cityscapes that might have been in the US,--gigantically spacious as both countries are or were--horse carriages competing with tramcars, this is a visual breathtaking treat from end to end. The jazzy musical score matches the visuals in expressing the overflowing joy of ordinary things.
Click HERE for the whole film.