Men With Movie Cameras
Man With A Movie Camera becomes Men WIth Movie Cameras? Or should it be "Manchester with Movie Cameras" ?
In a crowdsourcey kind of angle on the classic 1929 Dziga Vertov film by "Man With A Movie Camera", artist Perry Bard is setting out to collect a "global remake" of the film. People are invited to contribute to the project by first reshooting any shot from Man With A Movie Camera and then uploading it to the project website, which will reconstitute the new film and stream it to four public screens in the UK as part of the Big Screen festival in Manchester.
Vertov's film was groundbreaking in its day for experimentally treating the emergent media of film, and pioneering a new approach to documentary. The film provided a glimpse into 24 hours of life on the streets of Moscow, Riga, and Kiev. In Vertov's words, the 1929 film is "an experiment in the cinematic communication of visible events without
the aid of intertitles, without the aid of a scenario, without the aid
Artist Perry Bard notes that the new versions of the shots do not need to mirror the originals exactly, but rather should come to form a "database [that] reflect(s) the shape of the wired world on the 21st century stage". Illustrating the point he gestures to the contemporary context of industrial 1920s Russia and wonders if "instead of the mining scene if you're living in Silicon Valley you might film inside Apple headquarters".
I'm inspired now. I want to remake that weird old Russian movie they showed us in film school that follows the life of a loaf of bread. Though drowsy at the time, I recall that it was shot from behind the loaf, sort of like the way they shoot the dog in the "snozzages" commercial, or the way George Steinbrenner appears in Seinfeld. Anyone up for it?
2008: Man With a Movie Camera is a participatory video shot by people around the world who are invited to record video according to the original script of Vertov’s Man With A Movie Camera and submit it to a website which will archive, sequence and deliver the submissions to The Big Screen (www.bbc.co.uk/bigscreens/) in 2007-08. When the work streams your contribution becomes part of a worldwide montage, in Vertov’s terms the ”decoding of life as it is”.