The Filmmaker as a Scholar

Man with a Movie Camera and the Proletariat



[For Film 220]

Even with the title card, Vertov and his Kino-Eye collective have been very clear about it: Man with a Movie Camera is a proclamation of victory of their movement’s program of “cleansing [the] kinochestvo[1] of foreign matter – of music, literature, and theater…”(We: Variant of a Manifesto) and to establish a “visual (kino-eye) and auditory (radio-ear) class bond between the proletariats of all nations and lands on a platform of the communist decoding of world relations (Kino-Eye).” Other than an experimentation of form, more than what the disclaimer title cards would state,[2] Man with a Movie Camera is an experiment of socialist praxis in cinematic language after Eisenstein’s montage dialectics – to finally realize in cinema what does it mean to be a proletariat.

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Notes on Lino Brocka’s essay 2

“The “upliftment of the motion Picture industry” should not, can never be, a package deal; it is, instead, a protracted struggle. One should work perseveringly with the material at hand, should be aware of but not stunted by our cinematic tradition, and should place one’s trust in the Filipino mass audience.”

-Lino Brocka (Philippine Movies: Some Problems and Prospects)

Here, Brocka actually suggested for filmmakers to apply a dialectical materialist method on developing films which, in effect, would have developed a great cinema culture. But it never happened because, you, filmmakers, are busy problematizing how to convey “your own voices” into your film.

This scene is tiring.