Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Half-Human Camera Man Trapped in Time and Space

Dziga Vertov creates A Man With A Movie Camera to demonstrate the life a camera man, thus he describes it as an experimental film without a script. This film is very confusing because it has so many images, little sounds, and no bluntly obvious sequence.

What it lacked in clarity, the film supplemented in recurring themes and images. For example, the theme of having multiple audiences or witnesses to an event in different times and spaces seeing the same thing yet still reacting in their own way. The camera man witnesses an even through the Kino-Eye, the editor sees the same scene frame by frame in a slower or faster time, the audience in the film’s theater sees the film in their own time, and we watch the audience watching the camera man watching the scene. It is in this forum that time and spaces elapse. We are the ultimate audience witnessing the reactions of another audience, the actions of the camera man, and the original scene. Our eye can witness the bigger picture, reminding us that we are also a part of a bigger picture.

A Man With A Movie Camera demonstrates the human aspect of the Kino-Eye, the camera man. This human-machine breed, the Kino-Eye, was created to record nature and its daily life; thus the recurring images of hands, feet, necks, and all types of body parts. Weddings, birth, death, washing, grooming, a day at the railroad station, working with industry, walking on the street are all part of the city daily life. These occur every day and more than once in the film. The images are short clips but are pieces that in we can connect to a previous experience. Although the film uses few real-life sounds, the ones used also remind us of the importance of noise in our routine and what those sounds represent in our minds.

A sub-theme of daily-life is images of cleaning and grooming. Many images are of people washing up, of cleaning streets, of combing and cutting hair, of polishing nails. Their significance is important and recurring but it is difficult to decipher.

Recurring themes of machinery and industry remind us of the fast-paced place we live in. The factories remind us that machine and man are becoming one. Even the Kino-Eye is a part of this breed. Dziga Vertov reminds us that things can slow down and that humans can have their day at the beach, or in the ocean, or on a carousel, or sports.The audience is shown images of leisure to encourage us to pass through space and into those moments; to remind us that they exist and separate us from machine time.



Blogger Guillermo Murga said...

Your analysis of the film is quite similar to what I thought. I think the camara does a great job of capturing everyday activity, while showing off the technological advances of the day. I was questioned why he would include people doing leisure activities, but as you said, maybe he wants the audience to make sure they do the same.

1/28/2007 5:46 PM  
Blogger Mike Kim said...

The recurring images you have mentioned in your response hold a deeply fundamental message or theme I think. All those images in the movie, as you have said, show us that even in a same time frame, so many different things can occur such as washing, going to one's job, playing at the beach and so forth.

Throwing all those images together in a rather random order reminded me once again that time is relative to whoever experiences it first hand. To everybody, the length, importance and speed of time must be different.

1/29/2007 1:23 AM  

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