IN THE NURSERY's score utilises the latest music technology to create a syncopated and alluring soundtrack that embraces the progressive film-making of director Vertov.
"In The Nursery's music adds a contemporary feel to a film whose joyous celebrations of modernity in all its forms still seems fresh".
Phil Johnson - The Independent on Sunday
'Man With a Movie Camera' is a kaleidoscopic city symphony which celebrates the sensory bombardment of 20th-century life, and stands as an experiment in conveying visual phenomena without the aid of titles... scenario... or theatre.
The film, with live accompaniment by IN THE NURSERY, received its premiere at the Bradford International Film Festival March 1999 and was followed by a National Cinema Tour during March & April.
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'Man with the Movie Camera' is a remarkable film. In fact it is unique. It is unlike anything that came before or after it in Vertov's oeuvre, Soviet cinema or indeed the history of film. The film is a documentary made by one of the most prolific and vociferous defenders of non-fiction (or 'unplayed') film. Vertov saw documentaries as the ONLY valid form of film. 'Man with the Movie Camera' is a statement of commitment to the documentary approach. It is also a 'box of tricks' which serves as an essential example of Soviet montage and a catalogue of the possibilities of filming technique.
The film was constructed by Vertov (real name Denis Kaufman) and his wife and editor Svilova from material 'captured' by the 'cine-eye' team during the turbulent years 1924-28. As such it is a document of the Soviet Union, modernism and Constructivism; indeed of the cinema itself.
'Man with the Movie Camera' was released by The Ukrainian Photo and Cinema Administration in the autumn of 1928. It had its first public showings in Kiev on January 8th and Moscow on April 9th 1929. The film was then quickly shelved in the Soviet Union whilst going on to critical success after screenings in Berlin, Paris and London.
It is a most daunting task to produce music to accompany this most astonishing of movies. Vertov, who began his artistic career with sound experiments, made notes on musical accompaniment himself. We can only guess at how accompanists attempted to keep up with the flood of images when film first - and limited - showings.
Klive & Nigel, like Vertov and his cameraman Mikhail Kaufman (the Man with the Movie Camera) are (real) brothers in arms. They have taken an impressionistic approach which works brilliantly in setting and furthering the atmosphere of the film. In particular they have captured the initial and continuing sense of anticipation which runs through the film. They have captured the essence of Vertov's attempts to capture time as well as bringing to the fore the dream-like qualities of the film which can easily be missed.
The Humberstone brothers have, rightly, eschewed any attempt at recreation of Vertov's musical instructions or 1920s constructivist pastiche. Their approach is entirely in keeping with Vertov's desires to always be at the leading edge of utilising the technology available.
As part of my work, and indeed for pleasure, I have watched this film hundreds of times. ITN made me look at it afresh. Listen with wonder and a sense of discovery - the way Vertov and his team approached the world.
Dr Graham Roberts - author 'Forward Soviet' & 'Man with a Movie Camera' [I.B.Tauris]