Man With A Movie Camera, film review: Soviet propaganda picture has some eerie moments

(U) Dziga Vertov, 68 mins

Geoffrey Macnab
Thursday 30 July 2015 22:39
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The film was voted No 1 in Sight and Sound's recent poll of the greatest documentaries
The film was voted No 1 in Sight and Sound's recent poll of the greatest documentaries

Dizga Vertov's 1929 experimental Soviet propaganda picture is breathtaking in its formal ingenuity. Vertov was heavily influenced by Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in his approach to montage and his extreme visual playfulness.

The film was voted No 1 in Sight and Sound's recent poll of the greatest documentaries, a decision which seems perverse given that this isn't a conventional documentary at all. It is more a film poem, an ode to modernity and a symphony of a city.

Alongside its celebration of heroic Russian workers, it has some strangely eerie moments as well as an undercurrent of eroticism. The latest revival displays the film to best advantage in a pristine new digital restoration and with a dramatic new soundtrack by Alloy Orchestra.

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