Analysis of Dziga Vertov’s Film: “A man with a Movie Camera”

Dziga Vertov’s Film: “A man with a Movie Camera”, Analysis

A man with a Movie Camera (AMWAMC) is a silent documentary film that was released on 8th January 1929. The film was written and directed by Dziga Vertov, and edited by Vertov’s wife, Elizaveta Svilova. It was produced VUFKU film studio, and it presents urban life across the Soviet Union’s City of Moscow.

Watching this film, one can easily deduce that Vertov wanted to deviate from the conventional movie making techniques that were prevalent at his time. The video starts with multiple openings something that is hardly used in filmmaking. Vertov broke out of the cycle that made filming so formulaic to the extent that limited the art form. AMWAMC is an experimental video without actors and intertitles. From morning to evening, the Soviet citizens are recorded while working and playing. The people interact with the apparatus of modern life to a point where the film can be assumed to have characters. Vertov experimented with various types of cinematic pictures that were taken from different angles and locations. Vertov and his brother went to extreme lengths to record a range of scenes including filming from the top of a waterfall and under the train. The movie displayed several techniques employed in the present day film industry such as double exposures, jump cuts, close-ups, split screens, stop-motion animations and playing with slow and fast motion among others.

The documentary takes place within a one-day span.  The camera tricks and techniques used are particularly avid and brave given the lengths the cameraman had to go to get certain shots. Throughout the film, a viewer will get to understand some of the processes and skills involved in movie-making. There is a wide range of fascinating editing techniques and camera angles employed throughout, reflecting movie methods and capabilities that had been explored and developed before 1930.

As viewers, we see that there are many films within a film. This added an extra layer to the already seemingly complex movie. Self-consciousness was an added feature was not used or even relevant in most silent films. After forty minutes, everything ceases and shifts to Svilova who is put on view while editing and merging the film together. Throughout, the movie employed multiple cinematic metaphors for instance, at the start of the film when a woman blinked her eyes while at the same the window blinds open and close up. A significant aspect of this documentary is in the manner in which scenes advance as well as the forms of montage used. It entails both of what is referred to as collision editing and series editing.

Series are editing is the technique of constricting time through simply showing the imperative scenes that occur in sequence to swiftly portray a succession and propagate the story. It was the very prevalent type of editing during the entire movie, and it fulfilled its purpose accordingly. Many times, it would depict the person handling the camera then it would hastily skip to the instance where he finds the perfect filming spot.

In collision editing, montage is basically an occurrence in which two or more factors gives birth to an idea. The collision enhances messages while at the same time inducing thought in the viewer’s mind. A perfect example of series editing in the movie is when a woman who just wakes up for the day, starts to wash her face. Simultaneously, the film cuts to water under high pressure that is cleaning off the pole. As the movie goes on, the woman wipes herself using a cloth. She then proceeds to wipe the window using a similar cloth.

The rapidity of the video is skillfully carefully synchronized with the audio. Despite the fact that the melody remained constant, it varied in every section. Almost every industrial scene had an unwelcoming sense that almost lacked the human touch. As the movie sped up, the scenes were accompanied with music that worked perfectly well with visual and which also matched the industrious, energetic flow.

Personally, I see the film: “Man with a Movie Camera” as a practical film that documents practical experience which differs a lot from regular movies. Casual movie lovers may consider it dull and boring. However, this movie is visually thrilling, and I strongly believe that it still holds much relevance in the current movie industry and viewership. It provides numerous secrets on how to have and attain visually intriguing pictures.

In conclusion, modern classic filmmakers can borrow a lot from Vertov’s movie on how to get interesting and terrific cinematic shots, the strides that they need to make in pacing up their firms as well as how to  give meaning  without  using conventional storytelling.