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Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera: Thoughts on the Computation of Style and Narrative Structure

Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera: Thoughts on the Computation of Style and Narrative Structure This article proposes a way for producing cinematic representations of contemporary urban environments based on the close study of Dziga Vertov’s mechanisms for story and plot development as instantiated in Man with a Movie Camera. Our investigation of screen cities and the way the image of the modern metropolis is constructed in cinema focuses on the examination of, and the experimentation with, the screen language of the “city symphony” film genre. This is pursued in two parts that tackle distinct - but to a certain extent complementary - aspects of the research. The first part of the article - the analytical segment- summarizes the results of the shot-by-shot formal analysis and the statistical processing of the accumulated metadata for Vertov’s cinematic text with the aim of mining relevant concepts for an informed discussion on aspects of film form and style for “city symphonies.” The second part of the article - the experimental one - attempts to transliterate the results of our analysis into the novel language of nonlinearity for the digital, interactive screen. This is deemed particularly important because, as this article suggests, a better understanding of the “city symphony” form will enable the production of more immersive filmic constructs about current urban phenomena. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architecture and Culture Taylor & Francis

Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera: Thoughts on the Computation of Style and Narrative Structure

Architecture and Culture , Volume 3 (1): 23 – Mar 1, 2015

Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera: Thoughts on the Computation of Style and Narrative Structure

Architecture and Culture , Volume 3 (1): 23 – Mar 1, 2015

Abstract

This article proposes a way for producing cinematic representations of contemporary urban environments based on the close study of Dziga Vertov’s mechanisms for story and plot development as instantiated in Man with a Movie Camera. Our investigation of screen cities and the way the image of the modern metropolis is constructed in cinema focuses on the examination of, and the experimentation with, the screen language of the “city symphony” film genre. This is pursued in two parts that tackle distinct - but to a certain extent complementary - aspects of the research. The first part of the article - the analytical segment- summarizes the results of the shot-by-shot formal analysis and the statistical processing of the accumulated metadata for Vertov’s cinematic text with the aim of mining relevant concepts for an informed discussion on aspects of film form and style for “city symphonies.” The second part of the article - the experimental one - attempts to transliterate the results of our analysis into the novel language of nonlinearity for the digital, interactive screen. This is deemed particularly important because, as this article suggests, a better understanding of the “city symphony” form will enable the production of more immersive filmic constructs about current urban phenomena.

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References (54)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2015 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
2050-7836
eISSN
2050-7828
DOI
10.2752/205078215X14236574273583
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article proposes a way for producing cinematic representations of contemporary urban environments based on the close study of Dziga Vertov’s mechanisms for story and plot development as instantiated in Man with a Movie Camera. Our investigation of screen cities and the way the image of the modern metropolis is constructed in cinema focuses on the examination of, and the experimentation with, the screen language of the “city symphony” film genre. This is pursued in two parts that tackle distinct - but to a certain extent complementary - aspects of the research. The first part of the article - the analytical segment- summarizes the results of the shot-by-shot formal analysis and the statistical processing of the accumulated metadata for Vertov’s cinematic text with the aim of mining relevant concepts for an informed discussion on aspects of film form and style for “city symphonies.” The second part of the article - the experimental one - attempts to transliterate the results of our analysis into the novel language of nonlinearity for the digital, interactive screen. This is deemed particularly important because, as this article suggests, a better understanding of the “city symphony” form will enable the production of more immersive filmic constructs about current urban phenomena.

Journal

Architecture and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 1, 2015

Keywords: Dziga Vertov; Man with a Movie Camera; city symphonies; shot-by-shot formal and stylistic analysis; statistical processing; contrapuntal montage; metadata; metadata visualization; interactive narrative; fugal narration

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