Man With a Movie Camera

Constructivism and Film

“Man With a Movie Camera” is an experimental 1929 silent documentary film directed by Dziga Vertov and edited by his wife, Elizaveta Svilova. Vertov and Svilova used a multitude of experimental techniques, such as double exposure and jump-cuts, to present life in various Soviet cities. They depicted the working class of Russia without ‘theatre’ in that there were no actors, no scenario, and no script: just the form of the film. It can be linked to Constructivism and Marxism and is considered an exemplar of Modernist film. You can now watch the entire film on Youtube (hooray for technology!). Click on the movie poster below (and remember, it’s SILENT).

Original movie poster for “Man With a Movie Camera”, 1929.


Mikhail Kaufman mounting a camera on a train in order to get the best shot, 1929.