in about 100 words or less
Soviet Union 80m, silent (B&W)
Director: Dziga Vertov; Cast: None
Man with a Movie Camera is a most interesting experiment in cinema which uses a dazzling number of special camera techniques and visual effects to portray daily life in the early 20th century. In modern visual terms, this film might best be compared to Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 ecologically minded film Koyaanisqatsi (1983). However, with the industrialized Soviet nation as its principal character, Man with a Movie Camera espouses the benefits of modern industrial life in the communist state and portrays the transformation of nature in a favorable light. Notwithstanding the underlying socialist message, and the obvious staged nature of some of the scenes, the film does accomplish what it set out to do: that is, “provide an authentically international absolute language of cinema” without the aid of theater or literature (Klaus Ming March 2009).