allain’s review published on Letterboxd:
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I haven’t seen a lot of silent films and the ones I’ve watched so far are City Lights (1931), The Epic of Everest (1924), and Shiraz: A Romance of India (1928), but there’s something so incredibly perplexing and mesmerizing with this experimental silent documentary that made me want to explore more of its genre.
The title is what you get in this one-hour visual treat–a footage of a man with a moving camera–and, despite being boringly described as such, every single shot was dizzyingly remarkable and captivating. The obscure camera angles, the split-screens, the slow-mo, the sped up shots, the stop-motion, and the trick shots are all integrated to depict the complicated relationship between man and film. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that it managed to elevate a day, or rather days, in the Soviet Union, making it a symbolic relic that reflects the past and gives an insight to the people of the future–a prepossessing time capsule of some sorts.
Despite having no words uttered, this documentary hooks you with its engaging score that greatly complements the clips being shown. The experimental shots were beautifully presented in its hour-long runtime, ending with probably the most thought-provoking shot that symbolizes our bizarre and undying fascination with cinema. The unorthodox nature of this documentary sparked multiple cinematic eras and waves, and it showed just how powerful and groundbreaking a film can be, even if its subject and topic is the commonality of life.
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