In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
This playful film is at once a documentary of a day in the life of the Soviet Union, a documentary of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film. Even the editing of the film is documented. We often see the cameraman who is purportedly making the film, but we rarely, if ever, see any of the footage he seems to be in the act of shooting! Written by
George S. Davis
Given the effusion over CHELOVEK S KINOAPPARATOM in the commentary
section of the IMDb, I expect this will be a tad out of place, but I
feel that this is a very good, although not groundbreaking movie.
First, what we have here is a portrait of a city -- Moscow, I believe,
on the lines of MANHATTA and the more famous BERLIN: DIE SINFONIE DER
GROSSTADT. It is an excellent example of the genre, with some beautiful
camera-work but in no wise groundbreaking.
The distinction, if any, lies in the use of the eponymous Man With a
Movie Camera as a character in the film. People stop to gawk at movie
cameras in operation at first sight, and Vertov must have been
frustrated at some of the excellent footage he would have to throw
away. Then it probably occurred to him that if he made the camera
itself a character, the gawking could be explained. To Americans this
might be strange, but silent European films often had the camera
clearly comment on the action of the film -- check out Feuillade's
serials, such as LES VAMPIRES for examples.
This leaves open, of course, the issue of why, in several of the crowd
scenes, in which we see the actor/cameraman from the rear, people are
looking at the movie camera actually in use to take the shot. Could it
be it is not the man with the movie camera they are looking at, but the
This being Soviet cinema, we are also supposed to gawk over the editing
technique, which the Soviets invented -- or actually, reported on, as
they had been in use for up to thirty years by the time. The Soviet
academicians got their stuff into print first -- elsewhere, people
learned by experimentation or going to work for someone who knew what
he was doing.
Finally, although Soviet film in this period is vibrant and interesting
and does have a lot of editing techniques that were influential, they
were making good films in Russia before the Revolution. I urge anyone
who is interested in Russian films to look up the works of Yevgeny
Bauer or Starewicz.
And take a look at this movie, by all means. It's very good. I
apologize if anyone thinks I am complaining, but I worry that other
commenters may have oversold it. Why not see it and make up your own
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