John Grierson, The Granton Fishing Trawler. 1934 (10 min)
Seeing as though the camera person had to be on the boat for some shots, and knowing the type of cameras available at the time, I was really impressed with the amount of camera angles and close-ups. I thought the treatment of the available light and the rolling of the water made for some interesting compositions. I particularly liked the shots where it seemed more about the actions than the people doing them; the camera was set up on the man with the fishing net and when his head went out of frame, the camera did not follow. With the cameras mounted on the boat, the viewer gets a real sense of what it must have been like, motion-wise, on that boat. I cannot help but think of Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel.
[Note: I appreciate the fact that we did not watch this film in class as I know I would have been seasick.]
Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, Manhatta. 1921 (10 min)
With the positioning of the camera(s), the people are dwarfed by the architecture. It is almost like this film is from the perspective of the buildings themselves, like immobile entities watching the world go on around them. This film was not about the people in the city, but the city itself; what makes up a city.
"This world all spanned with iron rails." I feel this refers not just to the train tracks, but to the building's skeleton; the backbone of the city (perhaps at that time they would have said the trains were the backbone of the city).
Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera. 1929 (68 min)
A fabulous documentary of life in a city.
I really liked that this was a "film about film". Not only is the viewer brought into the theatre, but we can witness the editing of the film as well. This film has an interesting array of camera angles and shot selection, i.e. wide shots, close-ups, etc.
Walther Ruttmann, Weekend. 1930 (11 min)
Sometimes an image can get in the way. Listening to this mix of sounds, the mind begins to fill in its own images. There begins to have a rhythm about all the different types of sound, then mixed with periods of limited sound. A lot of the time it sounds like many different radios being tuned to different stations.
(When I heard the cat growl/meow, I almost yelled at my cats, because I forgot I had my headphones on)