Man With a Movie Camera is an extraordinary piece of film-making, a montage of urban Russian life showing the people of the city at work and at play, and the machines that keep the city going. It was Vertov's first full-length film, and he used all the cinematic techniques at his disposal – dissolves, split screen, slow motion and freeze-frames – to produce a work that is exhilarating and intellectually brilliant.
Michael Nyman's music has reached its largest audience by way of his film scores. Following his collaboration with video artist Chris Kondek and Russian expert David King on The Commissar Vanishes, which looks at how Stalin forced Soviet citizens to erase by hand the photographs of his political enemies, Nyman has been researching the period of extraordinary creativity which followed the Revolution and lasted throughout most of the 1920s. Key to this period was Dziga Vertov's extraordinary film Man with a Movie Camera, which documents the full spectrum of 1929 Soviet urban life with dazzling inventiveness. It was Vertov's formal inventiveness and energetic lyricism which inspired Nyman to create his new score for this radical experiment of the Soviet cinematic avant-garde.