A Man with a Movie Camera (1929) movie explanation

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    A Man with a Movie Camera (1929) movie explanation

  • 1 it's a documentary

    A Man with a Movie Camera is one of the earliest plot-less documentaries that had no actors to perform reenactments or even a specific story. It was a mere experimental work that aimed to experience some new editing and shooting techniques. 

  • 2 It spoke a global language

    Although the whole film was shot in one day in a Russian city, it was a universal film that everyone understood without having to have a past knowledge of anything. 

  • 3 It's editing compressed time

    One of the interesting things about the film is the way the editor progressed scenes. A Man with a Movie contains two editing techniques known as series editing and collision editing. Those two techniques compress time by only showing the important things.   

  • 4 The juxtapositions had meanings

    The film included some editing in which it revealed a meaning during the progression of the shots. An example of that was the part where a women woke up to wash her face and then the film cut to a pole being washed. This showed that the same thing (water) could be used for two different things.

  • 5 The differences between social classes

    There were shots  put together in the film that showed the differences between the working class and the upper class. For example, there was a part where we saw a women getting her hair washed at a hair dresser's and then we saw two shots of people from the lower class working and cleaning. 

  • 6 Machinary and humans

    One of the themes the film revealed was the importance of both machine and humans, as machines are shown throughout the whole film along with the workers packaging products and powering the machines. This theme reveals the impact of both human energies and what the machines offer.

  • 7 It tells the story of filmmaking

    The film is also a portrayal of how a filmmaker viewed the world through his camera at the time, inviting the audience to see the city just the way a filmmaker sees it. 

  • 8 It records human activity

    The film included various shots of human activities like going to the hair dresser, going to the beach, working, playing chess, socializing...etc. 

  • 9 It's avant-garde

    Avant-garde is a wave that came out in the early 1920's in which artists and filmmakers explored new areas of producing art. This work in precise is a portrayal of avant-garde in the way it presented a new style of filmmaking in the industry.

  • 10 The music is new

    The music was added later to a version of this film that was released in 2002 because back in the early 1920's when films were screened in theaters, they didn't have any audio tracks, but a whole team of orchestra used to go to the theater and play background music there.

  • 11 It can portray modern time

    Even though the film was shot at a very early stage of filmmaking, the film surprisingly portrays a modern time and the film is still well received globally till today. 

  • 12 The visual imagination

    There wasn't a dull moment in the film even though it wasn't much of an entertaining story. The way the direction, the editing style and the camera angles made the film very engaging and interesting to watch.