Why Vertov is the new Da Vinci

I am a firm believer that movie directors are artists.

In the text we learn a lot about film directors coming from various backgrounds. We even learn that most of the cinema groups that were formed to watch American movies were artists of some sort. Some of these arts include painters, architects and advertisement specialists. Today, I would really like to focus on Vertov and his movie Man with a Movie Camera as a list of those among the greatest art pieces of its time.

Up until this point in the semester, we have been watching silent films that have been innovative, such as D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation, Flaherty’s Nanook of the North, and Melies’ A Trip to the Moon. However, Man with a Movie Camera blows all of these movies out of the water because it is a compilation and compliment on the Lumiere Brother’s films and uses innovative film techniques and dramatic techniques.

The first thing that makes this film different than any other film is the use of cinematic technique. In the movie we see split frames, we see match cuts, we see canted angles and superimposition. This was the most I have seen, even compared to Melies who superimposed his own head onto different tables. Even the texts mentions that this movie has the technique of being whimsical even to the point of being kaleidoscopic.

The next thing that makes this piece a work of art is that it also the dramatic technique. We take the everyday, then we tell you it is everyday by having you watch people make a movie. It makes you hyperaware of your situations. It uses the Brechtian approach to movie watching, even before Bertolt Brecht himself came out with the genre (don’t quote me on that though).

Lastly, I would like to argue that Man with a Movie Camera is a work of art because of its fan base. We learned in Sharon’s class that there is a website dedicated to the movie. It basically tries to recreate the movie with different shots that contemporary people have shot. Having something that lasts that long, really only makes it a classic. As I have learned about Spielberg, he got into film making by trying to recreate the things that he has seen on the screen.

Because of these reasons alone, and not merely because the text says that the movie is Avant-Garde (which has the definition that it is a creative form of art) do I declare that the movie is a work of art. I would also like to add that it introduced to the film world many new cinematic techniques that have been and will be used for generations to come.



















KrasnyKofe. “Man with a Movie Camera (Alloy Orchestra) 1929 – Человек с киноаппаратом.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 July 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Escuelacinepuntocom. “Nanook of the North – Best Quality (HD) – Nanook El Esquimal HD – Full.” YouTube. YouTube, 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UClPYqFFzaYyIp-M1Vo5n9Fw. “The Birth of a Nation (1915 Film by D.W Griffith).” YouTube. YouTube, 10 July 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Escuelacinepuntocom. “A Trip to the Moon (HQ 720p Full) – Viaje a La Luna – Le Voyage Dans La Lune – Georges Méliès 1902.” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Raphaeldpm. “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (The Lumière Brothers, 1895) – YouTube.” YouTube. YouTube, 31 Dec. 1969. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Debbidbu. “The Baby’s Meal.” YouTube. YouTube, 11 June 2009. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Emedmenta. “Georges Méliès [1898] Un Homme De Têtes [The Four Troublesome Heads].” YouTube. YouTube, 06 Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

“Man With A Movie Camera.” Man With the Movie Camera. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Barnouw, Erik. Documentary: A History of the Non-fiction Film. New York: Oxford UP, 1974. Print.

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