Man with the Movie Camera – 1929 (USSR)

Director:  Dziga Vertov
Camera:  Mikhael Kaufman
Editor:  Elsaveta Svilova

Tickets: $15/$10 concession
Film: digital presentation of restored film with soundtrack
Duration: 68 minutes

Presenter:  Dr Karen Pearlman, Head of Screen Studies; Australian Film, Television and Radio School


An experience unlike any other, the Australia's Silent Film Festival is proud to present a unique film from the Avant Garde movement in Soviet Russia which has produced some of the greatest filmmakers of the era: Eisenstein, Pudovkin and Dovzhenko – famous for their dramatic use of visual images to express concepts in films such as Battleship Potemkin, Fall of St Petersburg, and Earth, respectively.


Dziga Vertov, however, had still other firm ideas of how the movie camera could express his perception of life in a realistic yet artistic way, and the result is this documentary of a day in the life of Soviet Russia in 1929, put together with such creative skill and artistic talent that it also deserves to be called a work of art.

Vertov captures images of street scenes and people in all kinds of activities during the day, from going to work, using machines and office equipment, to attending a wedding, a funeral, having a baby, then enjoying recreation after a day’s work by lying on the beach, dancing and playing sports and games.

Composed like a symphony, these images seem to be beautifully choreographed, creating a rhythm; the rhythm of life, and conveying a message about life in the universal language of picture, of life caught unawares by the movie camera and expressing it in an art form, using a wide range of editing and camera techniques.