Monday, 15 January 2001
Man With a Movie Camera (1929)
Dziga Vertov was so inspired by Marxist doctrine he believed the camera could make sense of the world in a way the eye could not. That the filmmaker should put this unique system of meaning in service of the people. That narrative fiction should be abandoned in favour of documentary fact.
His 1929 manifesto piece conjures the life of an unnamed city through a dazzling array of groundbreaking techniques. If Vertov and his fellow travellers had had their way we’d have been going to the pictures to watch films about ourselves for the past hundred years. Drama would have been relegated to a secondary, subsidiary interest.