Sunday, December 09, 2007

Eye On World

Today, a cinematic, modernist, socialist treat from the twilight days of silent cinema.

I refer to "Man With A Movie Camera," Dziga Vertov's dazzling, kinetic, cross-cutting 'day in the life' rendition of a modern, industrial city from dawn to dusk.

Vertov tells the public, in the opening titles, that he sees film as 'an international language which must be absolutely separate from the language of theater and literature.

Brave New World!

Below, Our 5 parameters of criticism.

But first, an actual sample of the film itself, for your viewing pleasure:

1. Four Words That Encapsule: "The Eye Is Everywhere"

2. Haiku (5/7/5):
"They dreamt it otherwise,
brave brethren marching toward
light, not the gulag"

3. Oblique Comment(s): This is definitely Soviet rather than Russian cinema. A difference was intended. When I was growing up, 'Soviet' was a nationality.. Communism was, for the world's intelligentsia, a new lover, and for a time there was rapture. This film reflects the Soviet vision as yet unsullied by mass murder and repression - bold, completely modern, a happy, healthy society, a machine with a beating heart. This world has no underbelly of poverty or crime, though disease and death are shown as being in sync with birth and renewal.

4. Insight: Vertov's work seems fresh as it embraced then-embryonic cinematic techniques and concentrated them melding thousands of images. In 'Movie Camera' we see: double exposure, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, and many others...

5. Link: from Allmovie Guide.

Cartoons du Jour:

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