Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera) (1929) - Rotten Tomatoes

Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera) (1929)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Soviet director Dziga Vertov's experimental film grew out of his belief, shared by his editor, Elizaveta Svilova (who was also his wife), and his cinematographer, Mikhail Kaufman (also his brother), that the true goal of cinema should be to present life as it is lived. To that end, the filmmakers offer a day-in-the-life portrait of a city from dawn until dusk, though they actually shot their footage in several cities, including Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. After an opening statement, there are no words in the film (neither voice-over nor titles), just dazzling imagery, kinetically edited - as a celebration of the modern city with a marked emphasis on its buildings and machinery. The Image Entertainment DVD edition of the film offers a musical score composed from notes left by the director, which adds greatly to the impact of the film. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Art House & International, Classics, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
Written By: Dziga Vertov, Dziga Vertov Group
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 13, 2003
Amkino Corporation

News & Interviews for Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)

Critic Reviews for Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4)

Cinema in its purest form: movement, sensation, action and visual trickery.

Full Review… | July 27, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

A truly radical and liberating work.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It becomes quite tedious and the hour that it lasts seems at least an hour and a half.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The film remains a fascinating souvenir, though its flourishes are now fairly familiar.

Full Review… | December 24, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Little can be added to the praise heaped upon Man with a Movie Camera over the years, other than to emphasise quite how entertaining it is.

Full Review… | May 3, 2016
The Skinny

The film remains a testament to the early days of filmmaking and the commitment to innovation and exploitation of the then-new medium.

Full Review… | April 18, 2016

Audience Reviews for Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)

Part documentary, cinema verite, and Avant-Gard art film, "Man with a Movie Camera" shows the everyday life of the 1920s Soviet Union. The disparity is evident, as the cameraman moves between the dissident streets of merchants and the poverty stricken, and elegant bourgeoisie riding in motor cars, their hats fluttering in the wind. Vertov melds together the documentary feel of a single day in his home country with the interconnecting narrative of the filmmaker, the audience, and the surreal. The surreal is constructed from film splicing that resembles special effects that would be recreated in many other art films of that decade. The film itself stands as an amazing historical record of the beauty, the poverty, this new nature of filmmaking, and the astonishing strangeness of the world at this time. Essential watching for those who love the craft of filmmaking, or love historical records of that time.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


This experimental documentary is a plotless record of life in the Soviet Union, mainly important as a then avant-garde catalog of camera tricks and editing experiments (many of which were pioneered in this film but are commonplace or obsolete now). Most non-film students will find this boring and want to stay far, far away, but it has its visually impressive moments, the issues it raises are rich, and it's too important in the history of cinema to give a poor rating.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

A powerful film, showing the day, of a few, urban citys of Soviet Union. Present all the contrast of the happenings, and showing too how the born of a day have a similarity with an awaken of the woman in the screen and how start the movement in the towns. Man with a Movie Camera, is a amazing experience about the language of the cinema and with the help of the editing and others tricks on cinema tell storys. And in this way that, Vertov, without story or professionals actors, just the direction, photography and music, show the magic happen. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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