Bracknell Film Society Selection
JULY 2016

Life Through a Lens First of four shows of documentary films


To book a ticket for this and forthcoming BFS screenings please contact the SHP Box Office on 01344 484123 or click the logo below to book via the SHP website.
Tickets £8.60, SHP members £7.00.
BFS members (BFS shows only) £6.60. You may have to show a BFS membership card. Concessions £7.60. SHP make an additional £0.70 charge when paying by credit card. Reserving a ticket by phone, expect to pay by cash at the box office 30 minutes prior to show time.

Tuesday 12th July. 7.45pm


Director: Dziga Vertov, Russia, 1929, 68 minutes, silent with intertitles.
Voted Sight & Sound's Greatest Documentary of All Time, this narrative-free portrait of city life uses all the cinematic techniques at Vertov's disposal - dissolves, split screen, slow motion and freeze-frames - to produce a work that is exhilarating and dazzlingly inventive. Featuring an exuberant and energetic score by Michael Nyman.

Plus short film

The Factory
Winner at DepicT! 2015

Directors. Thomas Phelan/George Lewis/Jack O'dowd, UK, 2014, 2 minutes
An old man ruminates about an ominous factory's hold on the world and possibly himself.


by PeterBradshaw

1Thursday 30 July 2015 21.40 BST. Last modified on Friday 31 July 2015 00.00 BST
Man With a Movie Camera
review of a visionary, transformative 1929 experimental film
Dziga Vertov’s experimental silent documentary upends reality in ways that are still dizzying, thrilling and strangely sexy
Dense with ideas, packed with energy.

The spirit of punk throbs in this extraordinary silent classic from 1929, now on cinema rerelease. Dziga Vertov’s experimental documentary essay remains fascinating after all these years, as potent as an exposed fragment of sodium. It shows scenes of city life in Moscow, Odessa and Kiev, and the credits describe it as an “experiment in cinematic communication of visible events”, which doesn’t do justice to its dedication to transforming and upending reality. This film is visibly excited about the new medium’s possibility, dense with ideas, packed with energy: it echoes Un Chien Andalou, anticipates Vigo’s À Propos De Nice and the New Wave generally, and even Riefenstahl’s Olympia. There are trick-shots, split-screens, stop-motion animation, slo-mo and speeded up action. Welles never had as much fun with his train-set as Vertov had with his movie camera. The title self-reflexively describes what is happening: we see the cameraman recording the images we are seeing; a man is shown with his camera tripod, rushing about, daringly hanging from trams to get his shot. But it is also the film’s subject: man and cinema. Vertov shows machinery and factories and intuits that this is what cinema is: the mass production and consumption of image. The combustion engine gave humanity the new experience of speed; now the movie camera gave us a dizzying new speed of perception and creation. Man With a Movie Camera is also gleefully sexy. The bodies on the beach are sexy – and the camera makes everything else sexy and exciting as well.