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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA Perhaps the least known great movie of all time is Dziga Vertovs THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA Made in 1929 at the end of the silent era it represents in a way the climax of a movement a jewel from a time of great excitement about the possibilities of film - the bursting forth and flowering of Soviet cinema Soon the youthful hopes and enthusiasms of this movement would be dashed by a regime that was deeply suspicious of anything imaginative or artistic What seemed like an auspicious beginning was in fact an ending Vertovs real name was Denis Kaufman The pseudonym means spinning top His passion was the documentary and he made many short films in the early years after the revolution notably a series of newsreels on the civil war In 1922 he created Kino- Pravda a magazine which advocated the use of cinema to document real life as opposed to fictional narratives He allied himself with the poet Mayakovsky and the futurists and declared that the kino-glaz the eye of cinema was ideal for the revealing the world of ordinary people His series of Kino-Pravda newsreels set out to prove this but at the same time his love of the forms of filmmaking itself the elements of montage and other techniques by which the filmed image was manipulated came to the fore and blended with his documentarist ideas His stylistic flourishes became increasingly elaborate which caused raised eyebrows among many staid Soviet critics but the subject matter of his films stayed within the bounds of conventional propaganda But then came THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA The premise is simple enough - a cameramen travels through Moscow filming the peoples activity in one day from dawn to dusk But the style is so radical that its startling Vertov used the occasion to demonstrate every resource at the directors command - the
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