It is a disjointed array of scenes in which the producer, Dziga Vertoff, does not take into consideration the fact that the human eye fixes for a certain space of time that which holds the attention.
Stream Man with a Movie Camera
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It is more a film poem, an ode to modernity and a symphony of a city.
This is an exuberant manifesto that celebrates the infinite possibilities of what cinema can be.
It's a unique, unforgettable, enlightening experience.
The film would be exciting to watch even completely silent, both because it’s a valuable record of Soviet city life at the end of the 1920s, and because it explodes with visual ideas.
The combustion engine gave humanity the new experience of speed; now the movie camera gave us a dizzying new speed of perception and creation.
It was about the act of seeing, being seen, preparing to see, processing what had been seen, and finally seeing it. It made explicit and poetic the astonishing gift the cinema made possible, of arranging what we see, ordering it, imposing a rhythm and language on it, and transcending it.
No other film – not even by Georges Méliès at his most fantastic – trumpets early cinema's status as a magical science and scientific magic, quite so loudly or melodically.
Vertov’s experimental essay proclaims its ‘complete separation from the language of theatre and literature’ in the opening titles. What follows is cinema in its purest form: movement, sensation, action and visual trickery.