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Last-Minute Plans: Man With a Movie Camera

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 24, 2011 7:30PM

2011_3_24_camera.jpg Russian director Dziga Vertov's 1929 experimental film Man With a Movie Camera (aka The Man With the Movie Camera) is something of a masterpiece of silent film. Shot largely in Odessa with support from the Ukrainian film studio VUFKU, Vertov captures the dawn to dusk minutiae of citizens in the post-Bolshevik revolution Soviet Union.

Where the film accomplishes its greatness is in its technical achievements. Beginning from the first shot of a cameraman setting up his camera atop another giant camera, Vertov uses or creates techniques now commonplace in film: double exposure fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, stop motion animations.

Vertov, who was a member of the kinoc film movement that tried to abolish all forms of non-documentary film making, wound up making a film whose stylistic approaches have withstood the test of time and influenced scores of filmmakers. At the time of the film's release, however, Vertov was accused of embracing the impressionist movement.

Links Hall is hosting a screening of Man With a Movie Camera this evening, complete with a original score and enhanced restoration. The screening is co-sponsored with the Hyde Park Arts Center as part of the lead up to the 2011 Dance Films Kino Festival.

MAn with a Movie Camera, 8 p.m. at Links Hall (3435 N. Sheffield Ave.). Tickets are $10; $8 for students with proper ID.