About Man with a Movie Camera

One of the most innovative and influential films of the silent era, Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera utilizes rapid editing and innumerable other cinematic effects to create a work of amazing modernity and power. This dawn-to-dusk view of urban Soviet life shows people at work, at play, and at the machines that endlessly whirl to keep the metropolis alive. It was Vertov’s first full-length film, and it employs all the cinematic techniques at the director’s disposal—dissolves, split-screens, slow-motion, and freeze-frames—to produce a work that is as exhilarating as it is intellectually brilliant. [68 mins; documentary; silent film with intertitles]

Montopolis is an indie chamber music group from Austin, Texas, that performs the works of composer Justin Sherburn, the grandson of Romanian immigrants and member of Okkervil River. Sherburn’s original score incorporates indie rock, extended techniques, and traditional Ukrainian folk melodies. According to Sherburn (whose Ashkenazi family name is Shapiro), the work is “an exercise in the power of music to undermine a film’s intention.”  Man with a Movie Camera was commissioned by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin to showcase the might of industry in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa. The composer’s empathetic and romantic score transforms a nationalistic propaganda film into a celebration of the human spirit, emphasizing the humanity of the Ukrainian people over the industrial prowess of the Soviet Union.

Sales from all Montopolis merchandise on the tour will be donated to UNICEF to support their crisis relief efforts in the region.

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