Part of The Sight and Sound Top 10 (#9 and #16)
Bottomless invention and frenetic, dizzying montage make MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA one of cinema’s sharpest, most exciting experiences nearly a century after its release. A narrative-free portrait of city life — three unidentified cities provided the locations — it is propelled by an effervescent delight in the possibilities of film, with its unexpected angles and clashing juxtapositions. This 2014 restoration, a scan of the original nitrate print, features a recorded score by friends of the Belcourt, the Alloy Orchestra, and represents the most complete version of the film that is currently available.
“Just a little over an hour, it nevertheless towers over film history as an example par excellence of cinema’s ability to communicate in unique and transgressive ways.” —Kathleen Sachs, Chicago Reader “This is an exuberant manifesto that celebrates the infinite possibilities of what cinema can be.” —Jonathan Romney, Observer (UK)
Preceded by Meshes Of The Afternoon:
Dirs. Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid | USA | 1943 | 14 min. | NR | 16mm
Conceived, directed and featuring first-time filmmaker Maya Deren in its central role, Meshes of the Afternoon would help to chart the course for American experimental cinema in the 20th century. Along with her then-husband, co-director Alexander Hammid, Deren sought to make a film that would portray “the inner realities of an individual and the way in which the subconscious will develop, interpret and elaborate an apparently simple and casual incident into a critical emotional experience.” Originally silent and shot without dialogue or sound, this version of Meshes of the Afternoon — an imperfect but complete 16mm print — features a soundtrack that was added in 1959 by composer Teiji Ito, who would marry Deren the following year.
“And the reason that I had not been a very good poet was because actually my mind worked in images which I had been trying to translate or describe in words; therefore, when I undertook cinema, I was relieved of the false step of translating image into words, and could work directly so that it was not like discovering a new medium so much as finally coming home into a world whose vocabulary, syntax, grammar, was my mother tongue; which I understood and thought it, but, like a mute, had never spoken.” —Maya Deren