This landmark of the Soviet avant-garde and the silent era of film is a dizzying, mystifying documentary portrait of a day in the life of the Soviet Union as a cameraman travels across Odessa, Kiev, and Moscow.
A early testament to the power and potential of the film camera and its operator's ability in capturing life and refitting it to establish its own frame of mind and, better still, its own essence of being.
Perhaps cinema's first example of turning the camera back onto itself. This self reflective silent gem examines the power of the image at a time when the full capabilities of this new form of expression were still untapped. Even by modern standards some of the images and camera tricks used by Vertov here are staggering. Far ahead of its time in both inspiration and realization.
One of the more unique experiences in film, Vertov (with a huge assist from his brother as the rather acrobatic cameraman) gives us a day in the life of Russia. For good measure, there's also a dancing crawfish. This is the rare film that seeks to turn convention upside down, and I'd say it manages that feat rather gleefully.