Man with a Movie Camera w/Live Score

Dziga Vertov · 1929
90min · DCP
  • Monday, May 1, 2023, 7:30pm

Revered as a visual masterpiece and one of the greatest documentary films ever made, MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA gives historical context to the current Russian invasion and lays bare the costs of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The joyful original score by Montopolis celebrates the beauty and resilience of Ukraine’s people and aims to inspire American audiences to support the country in its time of need.

The grandson of Romanian immigrants, Montopolis composer Justin Sherburn has a personal investment in the history and culture of Eastern Europe. His original score incorporates indie rock, extended techniques, and traditional Ukrainian folk melodies. According to Sherburn (whose Ashkenazi family name is Shapiro), the work is “an exercise in the power of music to undermine a film’s intention.” MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA was commissioned by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin to showcase the might of industry in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa. The composer’s empathetic and romantic score transforms a nationalistic propaganda film into a celebration of the human spirit, emphasizing the humanity of the Ukrainian people over the industrial prowess of the Soviet Union.

Watch the trailer.

Montopolis is partnering with the relief organization Bird of Light Ukraine to raise awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis. Donations for Bird of Light will be accepted in the lobby at the screening and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to support their efforts.

The evening’s program will open with Montopolis performing their live score to Buster Keaton’s classic short, “The Scarecrow”!

“Sherburn counts a day job in Okkervil River, but has made a name for himself with his chamber outfit Montopolis’ stunning, hour-long score to the famous 1929 Russian silent. The capacity audience at Alamo Drafthouse last weekend gave the local sextet a well-deserved standing ovation at the conclusion of the film and its accompanying live performance. This is rich Austin culture with an already storied legacy made even more so by this latest entry. Your summer blockbuster has arrived.” Raoul Hernandez, The Austin Chronicle