I was able to fully appreciate “The Man With the Movie Camera”, by Dziga Vertov because it gave me insight into fragmented narrative of the lives of various people. This film came out just as video was starting to become popular, therefore it was shot in avant-garde style, in such a way that it portrays that film itself is capable of ‘going’ anywhere. The contrasting scenes of portraying a woman giving birth, a woman getting out of bed and dressed, and shots of a cameramen even setting up their cameras on different terrain all accentuated the point of the ability of film in portraying any given situation at any given place. Vertov’s intention with this piece was to disassemble and even somewhat ‘break down’ the film industry into separate, individual components. His portrayal of film was much more raw and real, as he refused to succumb to portraying ideas such as idealistic romantic or comedic plots that he believed were not indicative of reality. In order to convey his narrative, he employs such camera techniques such as freeze frames, slow motion, double exposure, and fast motion amongst many others.
In terms of themes, two major ones appear to be present. These include the difference between the working and upper class, which is demonstrated in several main scenes. For example, in one scene, a lady is being groomed in the hairdressers, whilst a cut to another scene portrays a lower class person cleaning their clothes in what appears to be soapy water. The contrast between the people frolicking on the beach, compared to those working intensely in the factories also relates to this key theme. Lastly, the theme of the union of machinery and humans is present. This is conveyed through for one the very union of the man and his camera, and the power of this. It is also demonstrated through machinery being present in many different forms alongside humans. Overall, this piece can be considered revolutionary because Vertov broke conventions and released a piece which did not convey or abide to typical films during that time period (or for that matter, this one!)