JF Ptak Science Books Post 2500
So. Welcome to Post #2,500. As it turns out this was in line as a continuation of an earlier post and is not entirely fresh for today, but so it goes. Post 2,500 is also overall the 3,751st post to this blog, which began in January 2008. The numbered posts all usually have at least 400 words, or a bunch of time-consuming pics; there are also 1,351 "Quick Posts", which are the little guys, 100-400 words long. (There are also another 1,500 posts in the books-for-sale section, but that's a separate issue.)
The man with the camera was David Abelevich Kaufman (Vertov) (1896-1954), who made it along with his editor-wife Elizaveta Svilova (who worked on a number of films, mainly propaganda from the looks of it, though I would really like to see The Fall of Berlin, 1945, and also her film about Auschwitz).
The film was evidently a ground-breaker1--Roger Ebert points out one facet of the work, the average shot length, which is by far shorter here than anywhere previous works, meaning that there was more editing and selection done than normally: "In 1929, the year it [Man...] was released, films had an average shot length (ASL) of 11.2 seconds. "Man With a Movie Camera" had an ASL of 2.3 seconds. The ASL of Michael Bay's "Armageddon" was -- also 2.3 seconds...")
Here's an interesting ad for a U.S. release of the movie, appearing here in the same year that it was made, and appearing in the pages of the old-time old-school leftie magazine, The Nation, which was already 64 years old at that time. It appeared alongside other ads featuring excursions to the Soviet Union for those interested in Russia culture and for the others who were still admirers of what was supposed to be The Union.
I've included a link to the film (below) but honestly what attracted me to it was its poster, created by the indomitable and prolific Stenberg Brothers. Not only does the poster seem to me to be a masterpiece and iconic, it also uses an unusual perspective--straight up. I've done several posts here on the perspective of looking straight down and straight across, but there have been very few opportunities to write something about looking straight up (in the antiquarian image world). But here it is, in all of its glory.
The full movie, here:
1. Studio Daily lists Man with a Movie Camera as the 8th best movie ever made. http://www.studiodaily.com/2012/08/sight-sound-revises-best-films-ever-lists/