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Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
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Man with the
Movie Camera

(1929)

 
Flicker Alley
2015 Blu-ray Disc edition

Dziga Vertov: The Man with the Movie Camera and Other Newly-Restored Works (1924-1934), black & white, 279 minutes total, not rated,
including Man with the Movie Camera (1929), black & white, 68 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0041, UPC 6-17311-67929-2, ISBN 1-893967-92-1.
One single-sided, dual-layered, Regions ABC Blu-ray Disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels) progressive scan AVCHD MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, Russian language intertitles, optional English and French language subtitles, chapter stops; standard BD case, $39.95.
Release date: 2 June 2015.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 9 / audio: 8 / additional content: 8 / overall: 8.

This Blu-ray Disc edition has been mastered from the 2014 2K digital restoration of the film which utilized an original nitrate 35mm restoration print held by EYE that is touted as the only surviving complete 35mm print. The print, struck from the original negative, was brought to Amsterdam in 1931 by Vertov himself. Another objective of the 2014 restoration was to include the entire picture as shot with its original 1.33:1 framing. Many commonly-available prints of the film were copied from sound-reissue prints that masked-off a portion of the left part of the picture for the placement of a synchronized optical soundtrack in release prints — the state that many of us have seen the film for years.

The film is presented with a music score composed and performed by The Alloy Orchestra.

This is our recommended home video edition of the film.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Regions ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Regions ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Image Entertainment
1998 DVD edition

Man with the Movie Camera (1929), black & white, 68 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID4589DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-45892-3.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, Russian language intertitles, permanent English language subtitles, 12 chapter stops; snapper DVD case (reissued in standard DVD keepcase), $24.99.
Release date: 28 October 1998 (rereleased 26 February 2002).
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 7 / additional content: 7 / overall: 6.

This early DVD edition, originally prepared by David Shepard for release on laserdisc and VHS videotape in 1996, appears to have been transferred from a very-good-to-excellent 35mm early synchronized-sound print of the film from the 1930s.

Framing evidence on this disc suggests that the surviving source material had an optical soundtrack running along the left side of the filmprint, leaving only approximately 1.20:1 of the original camera negative aperture on the rerelease print, or — to state it another way — approximately 10-percent of the left side of the original image had been sacrificed to accommodate the rerelease print soundtrack.

For an older analog video transfer, a very-good job has been done of capturing the fine details and broad greyscale range of the source material. Only some occasional RGB artifacts are seen in tight horizontal picture details and some trellised fringing of the yellow English-language subtitles bespeak of the older video transfer technology that was utlized. The transfer is good enough to create a nearly filmlike picture on high-definition equipment capable of upconverting a standard-definition NTSC signal to a 1080p HD signal.

The presentation features an original music score by The Alloy Orchestra, following the written music directions of Dziga Vertov, originally produced for the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in 1995 and recorded in 1996, and an audio commentary by researcher Yuri Tsivian.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Kino on Video
2003 DVD edition

Man with a Movie Camera (1929), black & white, 68 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K297, UPC 0-38329-02972-2.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, Russian? language intertitles, English? language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $24.99.
Release date: 13 May 2003.
Country of origin: USA
This edition has been licensed from the British Film Institute.

The film is accompanied by a music score by Michael Nyman.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Triad Productions
2008 DVD edition

Man with the Movie Camera (1929), black & white, 68 minutes, not rated.

Triad Productions, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, Russian? language intertitles, English? language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $21.99.
Release date: 14 July 2008.
Country of origin: USA

It is unknown what materials were used for this edition.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other silent era DZIGA VERTOV films available on home video.

Other RUSSIAN and SOVIET FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other DOCUMENTARY FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other silent film music scores by THE ALLOY ORCHESTRA available on home video.
 
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