Man With A Movie Camera| Review
Updated: May 31, 2022
Out of all the film movements in the history of cinema, "Soviet Montage" is one of the most revolutionary and groundbreaking. Most of the time, "German Expressionism" and "Soviet Montage" are compared with one another, mostly because they both focus on the fundamentals of cinema, visuals and editing. Visuals help add to the atmosphere in a "German Expressionist" film, while editing helps add energy to any "Soviet Montage" film. A film that defines "Soviet Montage" would have to incorporate experimental aspects to it and consist of obscure editing, and Man With A Movie Camera perfectly fits into those categories but it’s also masterpiece.
There is no real narrative to the film. The most "narrative-like" aspect of the film happens in the beginning, when the viewer sees the audience of the film in 1929, sitting down and waiting for the film to begin. The film was one of the first to incorporate anything involving "breaking the fourth wall."
Man With A Movie Camera is the type of film that without the amount of quality craftmanship that's presented it wouldn't work. To make a film that, for the most part, only consists of random images and sequences and to have it remain interesting and entertaining would only be made by some of the best creators in their fields. Like many other films that belong to "Soviet Montage," the editing consists of obscure and quick-paced edits. The film's entire energy, thanks to the fast edits, only rivals the "Odessa Steps" scene in Battleship Potemkin. The direction, despite being minimal, always manages to entertain and throughout the film, the viewer always sees the best possible angle of any scene in the film. Every aspect of the film receives its correct praise but the special effects still remain incredibly underrated. Besides some sci-fi films, I haven't really seen any special effects like the ones in Man With A Movie Camera done before in a silent movie. Some of the shots are so well done that it's hard to even point out what you're looking at. Man With A Movie Camera remains, even though it's almost 95 years old, a masterpiece in experimental cinema and the pinnacle of "Soviet Montage." I would even go as far as to call it one of the top and greatest films on my all time list.
Time Stamp: June 2020