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critics consensus

Groundbreaking in its exploration of the medium, Man with a Movie Camera is proof that cinema in and of itself can be a source of grand entertainment and sociological value. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day, from morning to night. Directed by Dziga Vertov, with a variety of complex and innovative camera shots, the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. While there are no titles or narration, Vertov still naturally conveys the marvels of the modern city.

Cast & Crew

Michael Nyman
Original Music
Caleb Sampson
Original Music
Mikhail Kaufman
Cinematographer

News & Interviews for The Man With a Movie Camera

Critic Reviews for The Man With a Movie Camera

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (1)

  • The sheer jouissance of Vertov's experimentation in a film defined by odd angles, jump cuts, split screens, tracking shots, double exposure and... playful montage, might alone propel Man with a Movie Camera onto greatest film ever lists.

    March 7, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • This is an exuberant manifesto that celebrates the infinite possibilities of what cinema can be.

    August 2, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Fascinating enough as a social document, but genuinely thrilling in how its multifarious technical trickery whips up an ecstatically cinematic delirium.

    July 31, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Silent stunner.

    July 30, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Dizga Vertov's 1929 experimental Soviet propaganda picture is breathtaking in its formal ingenuity.

    July 30, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Dziga Vertov's experimental documentary essay remains fascinating after all these years, as potent as an exposed fragment of sodium.

    July 30, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Man With a Movie Camera

  • Feb 05, 2019
    Not only Vertov's Kino-Eye and his revolutionary cinematic experiment were far ahead of their time in terms of formal innovation (introducing all sorts of techniques, such as multiple exposure, jump cuts and stop motion) but also made history as a reflexive, avant-garde societal record.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 17, 2016
    While it is a Soviet propaganda film, Man With a Movie Camera achieved the impossible in one of the harshest conditions ever to produce an avant garde silent film about the lives of people living in Moscow (though shot at various locations). You can see the stark contrast of the dirty streets with the elegantly dressed people (bourgeoisie?), but Vertov did this in a way that hides a lot of the unpleasant things. The goal of the film was to create something that tells the "truth" but it really was a piece of work to encourage the productivity of the workers, though I highly doubt much improvement was procured after viewing this film. Nonetheless, it deserves a watch for its impressive camera works.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2013
    Ahead of it's time 100 years ago.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2013
    Three and a half: not because I particularly enjoyed it, but because the techniques used here are miles and miles (read years and years) ahead of its time. Seems hugely influential, but I don't see that there is any real narrative/ulterior meaning, and that doesn't sit particularly well with me.
    Jeff L Super Reviewer

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