I really wanted to go with a transition to sound film so I could talk about that, but this film really transcends all of that.
First off, this is a documentary. So that alone makes it worthwhile, because even though I don’t like watching documentaries, I admit that it is a crucial aspect of cinema and should be respected as such. That said, this might be the greatest documentary of all time.
The film has no story, but is rather just shots of people in Russia, over the course of a day. The really interesting aspect of the documentary is the incredible range of techniques it uses over its 68 minutes. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
This film is famous for the range of cinematic techniques Vertov invents, deploys or develops, such as double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, stop motion animations and a self-reflexive style (at one point it features a split screen tracking shot; the sides have opposite Dutch angles).
If you’re looking for just about every trick you can possibly use to visually tell a story, this movie has it all. (more…)