The Man with a Movie Camera with DeVotchKa

Thursday, April 13, 2017
8:00 p.m.
Castro Theatre

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Guests Expected

Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder, Shawn King, Jay Anderson, Damion Fremin expected to attend.


A landmark for its playful experimentation with the depiction of reality, Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera (1929) is charged with the excitement of cinema’s possibilities. “The film drama is the opium of the people,” Vertov wrote, “Long live life as it is!” Named in a recent Sight & Sound poll as the eighth best movie ever made, Vertov’s joyful trip through the streets of Moscow, Odessa, and Kiev, uses superimpositions, jump cuts, split screens, and a host of other effects to create an expressive portrait of a modernizing world.

Known for their popular soundtrack to Little Miss Sunshine, Denver’s DeVotchKa has been combining a range of influences—from Slavic and Gypsy to punk and folk—into their unique blend of expressive rock music for more than a decade. The band’s front man Nick Urata has composed scores for films as diverse as Crazy Stupid Love (2011) and Paddington (2014). He composed the original music score for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017), based on the children’s novels by Lemony Snicket. Urata and bandmates Jeanie Schroder (acoustic bass, sousaphone), Shawn King (percussion, trumpet), and Tom Hagerman (violin, viola, accordion, piano) bring their multifaceted, cinematic melodies to Vertov’s influential classic.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Dziga Vertov (1896-1954, born Denis Arkadyevich Kaufman) was a pioneering documentary filmmaker whose career began as a newsreel cameraman during the Russian Civil War. In 1919, he formed the Film-Eye Group, which issued several manifestos decrying theatricalism in films and promoting Vertov's theory of the "film-eye"—that a movie camera's purpose, like that of human eyes, should capture real life. Among his films are Shagay, Sovyet! (1925), A Sixth of the World (1926), The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), and Three Songs of Lenin (1934). Wrote Vertov of the style he pioneered that would make such an impact on subsequent generations of documentarians, "I'm an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it...I approach and pull away from objects. I creep under them. I move alongside a running horse's mouth...This is I, the machine, maneuvering in the chaotic movements, recording one movement after another in the most complex combinations... Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you."
Film Details
  • Country(ies): Russia
  • Language(s): No Dialogue
  • Year: 1929
  • Running time: 67
  • Director(s): Dziga Vertov
  • Writer(s): Dziga Vertov
  • Cinematographer(s): Mikhail Kaufman
  • Editor(s): Elizaveta Svilova

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