Man With a Movie Camera

mancover.jpgI need to decide where to take my wife tonight on our “date” and I am presented with two great options, each one a treat and well worth attending.
1. Alternative culture festival with film and music and art – all in the Czech language.
2. A viewing of the early Russian avant-garde film “Man With a Movie Camera”, by Vertov, followed by a lecture on, presumably, the impact of Vertov on comtemporay culture. This will be hosted by Anagram Bookstore. And its all in English.

What will it be?
Number 2. Of course. Because when all is said and done, everyone likes to hang out with their homies. And my English-speaking x-pat, geeky intellectual homies are getting into Vertov tonight. And we will join them. This is a good example of my “Homies Unit Principle”

[My Homies Unit Principle finds some inheritance from C. Peter Wagner’s Homogenous Unit Principle, a church growth theory that proved controversial in a postmodern environment. Wagner was one of my teachers in Seminary.]

But back to Vertov. I have been reading of his contributions by new media theorist Lev Manovich, who claims that many of the computer-age tools and concepts can find their first usage in films like “Man With A Camera”. The “cut and paste” command, for example, is a new use of montage that Vertov pioneered.
I am sure the guy giving the lecture tonight (Keith Jones) will be expounded on this and Vertov’s concept of “Kino-eye” – the idea that the tools of technology and cinematography can be used to gain a new understanding of the world.

Having said that, maybe it will just be a really good movie and night out with my wife.

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

7 Comments

  • perhaps credit for collaging and cut-and-paste should go to the da-daists, and weren’t they even earlier than the 1929 date on this film? and perhaps The Monkees were the real pioneers for video/camera-based use of pre-MTV collaging in the contemporary period, where visual content was separated from the meaning of the lyrics, which gave the entire experience a lyrical meaning. just blah-blah-blah thots to keep me from ranting against wagner’s/church-growth-movement’s ‘controversial-in-the-pomo-period’ HUP, although your personal hup sounds kinda fun.

  • andrew, the only cd i bought during our stay with you in praha was a 2cd set by ‘biosphere’, one cd of the set was an ambient electronic interpretation of the original score for that film!
    very cool, trust you are all well, happy giving thanks day 🙂 the tree is up in pioneer square now..
    blessings! maybe see you in the new year..

  • RESPONSE:Thanks everyone.
    RE: Soundtrack – What we heard was produced in Nov 2003 and was very cool – electronic and also re:mixing sounds from 1920’s Russia.
    RE: Dada. Thanks Brad. “I am sure Vertov was influenced by Dada, as well as by the movie “Berlin: Symphony of a Great City” 1927.
    Dada influence would be expressed in the representational style of “semi-abstraction” – viewer must reconstruct objects from minimal input. Manovich claims that Dada and Futurism helped launch the 1960’s artforms such as happenings, and interactive performance art.
    But Monkees?

  • yeah bayyuhbee! “hey, hey, we’re the monkeys!” … it wasn’t retro when i saw their show the first time … and some scholars (or, if i can’t find the source books, then just call me/us *scholar a poseur*) credit The Monkees as providing some roots to early music vids.
    question: is there a semi-concretizational style? or should we start it!

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