Joe Chamas
Avant Garde Film Midterm
11395
Question #4
Man with The Movie Camera



Shot Change constructs a New Perspective

The traditional rules for editing from shot to shot had always tried to give the impression of a continuous action taking place in front of the camera. Dziga Vertov, the director, contested this old-fashioned filming style in the movie Man with a Movie Camera. Using multiple shot changes and variations Vertov strayed away from the norm and created a novel technique. He strongly thought that, as a whole, the general public was stuck in a rut and they were lost in the commonalities and banalities of the habitual world. The camera man, the main character in the movie, was used as the vehicle to show the globe a new perspective on life. Vertov decided on making the movie encompass a full day in Russia. This interesting idea allows the audience to take in the director\'s new concepts and reflect upon the many visual themes, also. Time and space play a key role in the film as images and events are both skewed throughout the duration of the movie.
Time was used by Vertov as an important factor in editing as well as in the daily lives of humans.
With editing he utilized the essence of time to his advantage. Vertov wanted a certain rhythm of cuts to exist in the movie. He desired a choppy effect. The cameras, themselves, were supposed to produce a rithym in movements, too. The point was he wanted to make as many cuts and rigid motions as possible to make the film appear as hark jerky as possible to the audience. One reason was that he did not at all want the continuous motion of normative movies to be present. He desired the ebb and flow which daily life really is. He perceived that life was not one smooth ride without any bumps or collisions, but rather it was kind of unpredictable filled with jarring incidents at every corner. The other reason for the director\'s use of cuts and camera movements was he wanted to make sure people remembered that they were watching a movie and that they were not in some fantasy land. At one point in the middle of the film there was a scene with Vertov\'s wife clipping and editing the movie in a studio. Then there was a still-frame before the movie continues. This was done so viewers would again realize they were watching a movie, because too often people take things for granted.
Other uses of time were implemented by Vertov to ensure the viewers understood they were watching a movie. There were a multitude of different sequences involved in this film.
One intriguing occurrence was how Vertov showed the movie goers going in and out of movie houses. This was the first time in a movie that people were actually seen going to and from these theaters. Vertov made sure he got in all the features of daily life. He was not filming actors, what he was doing was filming real lives and real alive people playing the roles.
Another interesting sequence was when the camera man was shot by another camera. The camera man was on one carriage and he was being filmed from another carriage. There was a lot emphasis put on the work place. Heavy labor was the common bond between the workers in Russia. There were scenes of laborers in factories, outside, and in mines. Vertov made sure he showed all aspects of Russian life and he pointed out the balance which should exist. In doing so there was a large portion of leisure scenes. Although the Russians were hard workers, they did need time to relax. The movie showed a lot of sporting events and the fascinating concept in these activities there was a an equal proportion of women and men. Vertov showed the film with an equality of the sexes. Both the work scenes and leisure ones got longer throughout the movie. The sequences keep getting longer and this is the case with another sequence - the life cycle. The order of the cycle is messed up with birth, marriage, and death all represented. As the progress of the day progressed the sequences generally got longer.
Along with the idea