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Dziga Vertovs Man with the Movie Camera: Thoughts on the Computation of Style and Narrative Structure Stavros

Alifragkis, Franois Penz Digital Studio, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge This paper proposes a way for constructing potent and persuasive cinematic arguments about contemporary urban environments based on the close study of mechanisms for story and plot development in Dziga Vertovs Man with the Movie Camera [MwtMC] (USSR, 1929). Our investigation of screen cities and the way the image of modern metropolis is constructed in cinema focuses on the examination of the screen language of the city symphony film genre, a genre that flourished in the 1920s and 1930s but, as this paper suggests, still remains extremely effective in expressing current urban trends. This is done in two parts that tackle distinct but, to a certain extent, complementary aspects of the experiment. The first part of this paper the analytical part: Formulating the Ontology; Story Development: the City Theme; Characters and Protagonists; Aspects of Plot Development; Interpretation of Content Contextualisation; The Socialist City of the Future) summarises the results of the shot-by-shot formal analysis, statistical processing and interpretation of a single, indicative cinematic text Vertovs MwtMC with the aim of mining relevant concepts for an informed discussion on aspects of form and style for city symphonies. The second part of this paper the experimental one: Cambridge City Symphony attempts to transliterate the results of MwtMCs formal analysis into the novel language of non-linearity for the digital, interactive screen. This is deemed particularly important to contemporary authors because, as this paper suggests, a better understanding of the city symphony form will enable more immersive filmic constructs about current urban phenomena. Drawing together the symphonic cinematic tradition via the close examination of MwtMC and the realms of digitality and interactivity is neither arbitrary nor capricious. As current research shows, both demonstrate particularly compatible production practices and philosophies. This is not manifested only in what Manovich calls database storytelling with reference to MwtMC (2001; 2002), but also, as this paper claims, in the understanding that digital era new media and information aesthetics (Manovich 2008) and city symphonies from the 1920s and 1930s alike understand and appreciate life as multifaceted and fragmented clusters of simultaneous and often contradictory phenomena. Urban theory will explore more consistently fragmentation, simultaneity and multiplicity as aspects of city form nearly half a century after the first dynamic reconstructions of urban life in cinema by Ruttmann, Vertov and Vigo pictures that consist of multiple fragments assembled under a new law according to Benjamin (2002 [1936]: p.116) in the works of city theorists Rowe and Koetters Collage City (1983 [1978]) and architect and theorist Tschumis Event Cities (1998 [1994]), which still hold true and have great value both as interpretative and design tools. Vertovs 1929 movie is the product of a unique socio-political milieu that successfully encapsulates the immense transformations of Soviet society during the transitional period from the adventurous 1920s to the pragmatism of the 1930s. As such, the movie constitutes a multifaceted cinematic text with various complementary functions: documentary (Hicks 2006), Cine-Eye race (Tsivian 2006: pp.94-5), city

poem (Weihsmann 1997: pp.21-2). This paper chooses to emphasise the movies affiliations with the city symphony film genre in terms of story and plot development, without altogether dismissing other frames of interpretation. The review of the literature on the field of symphonic form substantiates the claim that MwtMC along with Ruttmanns Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Germany, 1927) instantiates and extends many of the formal and stylistic characteristics that have been traditionally associated with the genre without, however, challenging whether these features are unique to city symphonies. In this respect, the shot-by-shot formal and stylistic analysis of the movie and the ensuing statistical processing of the results aid an informed discussion on city symphony form that is both novel and innovative. This is legitimised through a specific typology of covariational research design that utilises within-case (single-case study) and cross-case (comparative) synchronic, qualitative and quantitative analysis for drawing inferences about a population of phenomena (Gerring 2007: pp.27-9). Therefore, the first part of this paper attempts to address three interdependent goals set out by the principles and practices of case study research: a. formulates a potent anal ytical tool for the uniform treatment of a representative sample of some broader population of phenomena (city symphonies); b. utilises the tool for the in-depth qualitative and quantitative analyses of a singlecase study (MwtMC); c. draws some initial inferences about the broader population based on the statistical processing and interpretation of the results of the analytical phase. First and second goals represent a more rigorous aspect of research in cinematic form while the last goal characterises a more speculative one, one that aims to generate a wide-ranging discussion on the subject of city symphonies. In general, this part of the paper possesses a high degree of internal validity as it explains in great detail a single outcome for a single case, what Gerring calls a single outcome study (2007: p.187). However, the degree of this researchs external validity the correctness of a hypotheses with respect to the population of an inference (2007: p.217) is subject to future synchronic, comparative, cross-case study of other instances of the city symphony form. Formulating the Ontology More precisely, this research draws widely from Bordwell and Thompsons work on style and form in cinema (2006 [1979]) in order to construct an ontology for the description of the cinematic domain of city symphonies: nonacted, montage based, moving-image works about urban cinematic landscapes. Domain ontologies are used here as a means of foregrounding relevant key concepts for a group of movies that are related by means of a dynamic network of overlapping similarities in the form of family resemblances rather than exhaustive lists of common features shared by the population. The proposed ontology modelled on the specific requirements of MwtMC mines and arranges a finite number of aspects of style about mise-en-scne, mise-en-cadre, and editing (classes). Aspects of style are grouped under classes, subclasses and categories that represent a hierarchical taxonomic table, with sufficiently detailed descriptions of their functions and a somewhat less refined semantic network representing their relations (Alifragkis & Penz 2009: pp.81-96). The proposed ontology enables a much richer semantic annotation and, therefore, a more extensive statistical processing of metadata pertaining to stylistic and, to a certain extent, formal features than existing statisticalstyle analyses (Salt 1974; Salt 1983; Salt 2006: pp.389-96; Buckland 2002: pp.10216; Buckland 2008). This furthers the discussion on statistical analysis in general and

automated and/or manual computer-aided annotation with metadata in particular. The mining and processing of metadata on style and form deemed necessary to launch an investigation into information visualisation that aspires to reach beyond the wellexplored communicational values of Excel or SPSS generated pie or line charts, towards dynamic representations of data that utilise moving as well as static images and, quite possibly, source sound or sound effects. Computer-aided annotation describes as a brief survey of available software demonstrates (CineMetrics.IV, Tsivian, 2005; Shot Logger, Butler; Anvil, Kipp, 2000; Vertov, Razlogova & Thiel; Deconstructor, Engel, 2002) an extremely topical area of research in cinema studies today. The annotation of MwtMC with structured metadata was made possible by a potent, experimental piece of software designed to produce non-linear, interactive moving-image projects, Architect Media Tool (BT, 2005), the precursor of a much more refined and versatile production tool for logging scripts, describing database resources, and authoring programmes entitled ShapeShift Tools (New Millennium, New Media consortium [NM2] 2007). Succeeding in reproducing fairly reliably MwtMCs plot in the form of successive segments with similar internal structure (micro-narratives) within the softwares environment constitutes one of our genuinely innovative contributions to the discussion on computer-aided stylistic analysis. Employing the descriptive capabilities of the proposed ontology to annotate other movies by Vertov i.e. trace the development of patterns of style diachronically or other city symphonies i.e. map out a series of overlapping similarities for a representative sample of a broader population with software such as ShapeShift Tools will provide a sound basis for gathering groundwork material on aspects of style and form and thus enable a better understanding of how specific narrative phenomena work over time. This suggests a possible area for future development for this kind of research. In other words, the shot-by-shot formal and stylistic analysis of Vertovs MwtMC, performed with the aid of the proposed ontology for annotating moving images with metadata, and the ensuing statistical processing of the results function as a model for possible future analyses of other instances of the genre. This analysis aids, by way of the process, the foregrounding of particularly interesting aspects of Vertovs movie, aspects of formal structure and style that had not been researched adequately by experts on Vertov previously, Feldmans (1976; 1977; 1979), Crofts and Roses (1977), Sauziers (1982), Petris (1987), Roberts (2000) and Hicks (2007) analyses in particular. These provide invaluable sources of information and inspiration especially Petris work but tackle aspects of the movie that diverge from our main discussion on filmic urban space and its cinematic reconstruction in particular. These concerns lie at the very heart of the proposed analytical process, which has devised new and modified existing formal categories (Salt 2006; Buckland 2002) in order to annotate spatial qualities that are particularly relevant to the discussion on city symphonies. This is why it was deemed necessary to perform yet another shot-by-shot analysis of all 1700 clips of the movie, this time with fresh, tailor-made research tools the proposed ontology and an unambiguous frame in mind the search of narrative mechanisms for constructing the image of the ideal Socialist city of the future in Soviet cinema. Therefore, this paper highlights aspects that inform the construction of filmic spaces (shot locations, interior vs. exterior shots, urban and non-urban spaces, intermediate spaces, etc.) in addition to aspects of mise-en-scne and mise-en-cadre (shot scale, shot length, camera

movement, characters and protagonists, effects, etc.) that are tackled by other analyses as well. Story Development: the City Theme Before embarking on a closer look at aspects of form and style for MwtMC it is necessary to attempt a sketchy outline of the very subject-matter of a city symphony and, particularly, the way the city theme develops over the 1920s and 1930s in the early cinema of the USSR, but also other forms of art such as Russian and Soviet literature and fine and performing arts as well. The process of tracing common patterns or themes of story development for city symphonies involves setting out from and, sooner or later, arriving at the painstakingly banal notion that a city symphony tells the story of the city, with characters and their functions evolving becoming meaningful or justified around rather along the carefully planned cinematic reconstruction of the urban terrain. As current narratological trends that attempt to decipher the ways audiences engage with narratives explain, this describes a legitimate process of conceiving and arranging the dramatic elements of a story (Ryan 2001: p.121). A brief survey of the literary and artistic production of the times suggests that there exist eclectic formal and thematic affinities between MwtMC on the one hand and Soviet satire, the Production novel, science fiction and utopian/dystopian literature, Rodchenkos photography, Deinekas paintings and posters, and experimental architecture and city-planning on the other. These mediums put forward a distinctly modern urban vocabulary that distances itself from 19th century renderings of the urban form in literature and the arts. This novel vocabulary involves the creative reconsideration of the role and function of such aspects of the Socialist city as the factory, the Workers club, the communal house, the communal kitchen and the infrastructure as a whole within the radically different economic context of the First Five-Year Plan. These novel urban spaces function to paraphrase Lissitzky (1930) as social condensers where the remoulding of the new Soviet man and woman takes place. The analysis points out an interesting paradox; stylistically, MwtMC appears to reproduce and extend the early 1920s formal experimentations that have been associated with Futurism, Constructivism and Productionism, however, thematically, it seems to be much more relevant to the artistic endeavours of this transitional phase during the late 1920s and early 1930s the Production novel, Deinekas figurative paintings that precede the inauguration of the Socialist Realism doctrine. Vertovs MwtMC distils and crystallises many of the themes that emerge during the first, more adventurous years after the Revolution and pre-empts, without the implied negative connotations, the urban imagery that Socialist Realism will be consistently putting forward in a matter of years. MwtMC achieves this by pursuing three complimentary storylines or, to be more precise, one story in three interlocking layers. A storyline usually refers to a set of events experienced by a particular character or a set of characters that may or may not share the same physical space or temporal reality with other characters of the same story. A storyline with reference to a consistent physical space can evoke a potent textual world, what Ryan understands as a fully immersive narratological universe where [...] mental geographies become home to the reader, and may [...] steal the show from the narrative action (2001: p.121).

In MwtMC, one finds at the very heart of the movies textual world the storyline of everyday urban life in the USSR (1256 clips; 73.88%; approximately forty-nine minutes, twenty-seven seconds, and fifteen frames). The story is set in an artificial urban terrain artificial inasmuch as it comprises footage from different cities and industrial plants and describes daily activities that take place from early in the morning until late in the evening. The second storyline is about filmmaking (307 clips; 18.06%; approximately twelve minutes, thirty-four seconds, and fourteen frames). It features the cameraman (Kaufman), his movie-camera, the uncredited production crew, and the editor (Svilova). Evidently, this is the storyline that involves all three protagonists, justifying, to a certain extent, the somewhat misleading view that MwtMC is dealing predominantly with filmmaking (Hicks 2007: p.65). This plane forks into two complementary storylines that hold different narratological statuses: reconnoitring and filming life off-guard (Kaufman, movie-camera, crew; 226 clips; 73.62% of the storyline), organising and deciphering the visible world (Svilova, editing suite; 81 clips; 26.38%). The former, which enjoys more screen time, could alternatively be seen as being embedded in the diegetic universe of the first storyline (daily activities in a fictional urban terrain); the latter exists outside the diegesis of life in the USSR, on an altogether different level. It punctuates the first storyline sporadically, usually through extreme close-ups on the celluloid. Kaufman and his movie-camera and Svilova hardly ever occupy the same physical or screen spaces, with the final clip of the movie being the only exception. However, they briefly meet in consecutive clips, but only on four occasions (clips 721-722, 728-729730-731, 745-746, 1592-1593-1594). In the last one, their convergence is mediated by the principal element they have in common, the material aspect of filmmaking, the actual celluloid. The third and last storyline involves screening MwtMC at the movie theatre (137 clips; 8.06%; approximately four minutes, two seconds, and thirteen frames). Characters and Protagonists In the neo-formalist, structuralist and formalist discourse on literature the terms actor, actant or character are reserved for those elements of the story that fulfil the various recurring functions that are found in narrative (Palmer 2004: p.28) and can be described according to Thompsonexpanding on the term seme, coined by Barthes (2004 [1973]: p.17) as collections of semes, or character traits (1981: p.39; 1988: p.40). At this point it may be difficult to see how one can conduct any meaningful investigation of the narrative structure of a non-acted genre, where the fleeting personas that momentarily populate the screen have little screen time rarely does the camera come back to any of them and no character development. Nevertheless, the function a symphonic persona muta may perform or her/his/its semes can be transferred to a different one many times over, what Tomashevsky terms transfer of motifs (quoted in Thompson 1981: p.39). Therefore, despite the fact that many different animate or inanimate entities inhabit the screen, a given function or seme can stay with the audience because it is being shared by a large number of persons or objects a kind of human creative geography to paraphrase Kuleshov. The formalist, shot-by-shot analysis of Vertovs MwtMC makes special provisions to accommodate the annotation of functions and characters. Functions are grouped in five distinct categories: construction, household economy, industry, manufacturing, and services. This enables a better understanding of the kind of Marxist political economy the movie puts forward (Tsivian 2006: pp.93-9). In MwtMC, in addition to

the characters embodied in a number of different entities that one comes across in other city symphonies too, there are three characters that exhibit the highest degree of structural importance (Thompson 1981: p.39) and qualify for being acknowledged as protagonists: the movie-camera, the cameraman Kaufman and others and the film editor Svilova. The reasons are self-evident: a. the title and subtitle of the movie Fragments from the Diary of a Cameraman (Feldman 1979: p.98; Roberts 1999: p.86; Tsivian 2000: p.51) suggest that audiences follow the story of a cameraman and his movie-camera; b: all three appear in a considerable number of clips (Kaufman: 215, 12.65%; Svilova: 100, 5.88%; movie-camera: 231, 13.59%); c: there are hardly any parts of the story where at least one of them does not punctuate, trigger, or book-end segments of the plot; d: they perform distinct and crucial functions that propel the story by recording and deciphering the world respectively. One feels inclined to note that the movie-camera and the cameraman could be regarded as displaying similar semes and, therefore, might be considered as a single character whose function is shared between its animate and inanimate counterparts; a hybrid organism consisting of human flesh that has incorporated the mechanical attributes of the recording apparatus. Aspects of Plot Development Petris in-depth study of the movies structure (1987) is used as a solid basis upon which one can further elaborate on the nature of the proposed seventy-seven segments of MwtMCs plot, their interrelation, and their internal structure. This is because, unlike other analyses such as Crofts and Roses (1977) it facilitates a straightforward mapping of the abovementioned three storylines life in the Soviet Union, filmmaking, and movie-theatre onto different segments of the plot. Petris four-part division Prologue, Part One, Part Two, and Epilogue (1987: p.72) can, in fact, roughly translate into a diptych whose two halves are: a. Bookends (Prelude and Recapitulation); and b. Development (Themed Episode A and Themed Episode B). This is because of the similarities in the form and content of the adjoined parts. Bookends split into Prologue or Prelude (clips 1-66: 66 clips, 3.88%; duration: 00:02:43:05 frames, 4.18%; ASL: 02:12 frames, 2.48 [decimal notation]) and Epilogue or Recapitulation (clips 1409-1700: 292 clips, 17.18%; duration: 00:07:11:16, 11.05%; ASL: 01:12 frames, 1.48). Development comprises: a. Themed Episode A: labour (clips 67-955: 889 clips, 52.29%; duration: 00:38:48:14, 59.64%; ASL: 02:15 frames, 2.6 [decimal notation]); and b. Themed Episode B: leisure (clips 956-1408: 453 clips, 26.65%; duration: 00:16:21:07, 25.13%; ASL: 02:04 frames, 2.16). The third storyline (movie theatre) can be easily pinpointed in the movie: it resides in the Prelude and the Recapitulation. However, both of them are punctuated by the second storyline (filmmaking). The first storyline (life in the Soviet Union) remains tightly contained within the bookends (Prelude and Recapitulation). Finally, the closing, climactic segment of the Recapitulation (clips 1593-1700) renders the three layers and their corresponding narrative frameworks literally indiscernible, thus merging the three interlocking storylines in a single storyworld. Ontology-based annotation with metadata and the mining of relevant urban themes inform the discussion on aspects of plot development for MwtMC. This paper places great emphasis on four key aspects of plot dawn-to-dusk linear sequencing of events, fugal structuring, Kuleshovs notion of creative geography, and counterpoint montage for their ability to describe and decipher many cinematic phenomena from

the Vertovian aesthetic toolkit. Two of them dawn-to-dusk sequencing and creative geography are standard items in the discussion of the symphonic form. However, this paper provides further clarification as to their use in MwtMCs cinematic text. Vertov and Svilova complement the habitual linear sequencing of narrative events that one comes across other city symphonies with a mise en abyme the third storyline roughly book-ends storylines one and two and with the occasional punctuation of the narratological universe of life in the USSR with clips depicting Svilova at her editing suite, which could be said to exist on a different content plane: a close-up on a face can be followed by a close-up on Svilova examining a frame that depicts the exact same face. In addition, Vertov and Svilova extend the use of the Kuleshovian creative geography originally coined for use with continuity editing (Kuleshov 1974) for montage as well in three ways: a. shot = horizontal or vertical splits of the canvas constitute instances of what this paper terms creative microgeographies this is what Manovich entitles spatial montage (2002: p.69-72); b. segment (or narrative thread or micro-narrative) = the contrapuntal linking of two seemingly unrelated lines of action in a single segment constitute instances of what this research terms creative meso-geographies; and c. themed episode = the fugal structuring of narrative events on labour (Themed Episode A) and leisure (Themed Episode B) that bring about the complex cinematic geographies of Vertovs movie constitute instances of what is here entitled creative macro-geographies. MwtMCs Development consists of fifty-eight segments classified under two major themed episodes (Themed Episode A = labour/morning, segments 7-46 = 40; Themed Episode B = leisure/evening, segments 47-64 = 18). Each segment can be construed as a relatively independent unit of cinematic narrative; a succession of mini-episodes that communicate a meaningful short story, usually with an incomplete or elliptical form, exclusively within the context of other thematically or stylistically relevant mini-episodes and not as stand-alone sequences of clips. This succession of montage or cause-and-effect-driven units, micro-narratives, or narrative threads a string of stories [...] connected by a central character or joined by a framework (Boa & Reid 1972: p.41) constitute a viable alternative to plots driven by cause-andeffect relationships within the action that is being represented (Laurel 1991: p.73). Fugal narration in MwtMC involves the creative interlocking of a wide range of functions from everyday Soviet life. This becomes possible through the pairing of two or more lines of action in a single narrative thread or mini-episode. These micronarratives share many stylistic characteristics in common with the structuring of Kharms sluchai [], a series of very short prose pieces produced from 1936 onwards (Cornwell, introduction to Kharms 1989: p.7). Contrapuntal montage is introduced here to tackle effectively what Frank describes as the removal of time-value (1968 [1963]: pp.56-7) from the cinematic narrative, as it foregrounds spatial relations, not on the 2D plane of the screen Manovichs spatial montage (2002: pp.69-72) but rather, in what Tsivian terms drawing from Eisensteins theories of montage the invisible conceptual, mental or intellectual, space of the movie (2006: pp.95-6). Counterpoint montage describes a montage technique that intensifies the effect of analogies in the form or content between adjacent clips, through the rhythmical repetition of brief clips, every other sourced from the same long take. More precisely, Vertov interweaves, grosso modo, several brief clips from a single long take of one pro-filmic event with several brief

clips from a single long take of a different pro-filmic event. Alternate clips from each long take are used sequentially, in strict chronological order. Naturally, variations do apply (i.e. instead of two Svilova uses one long take and intercuts it with several brief clips with the same subject matter, close-ups on machines, and certain formal similarities); our research highlights three basic motifs, three variations of the first and most popular motif and two combinations of motifs. Counterpoint or punctuscontra-punctum montage enables the dialectic co-existence in a single narrative thread of two or more collocutors that make up a potent cinematic argument about the city. The collocutors may be introduced sequentially, one after the other, but they are meant to be appreciated and understood concurrently; each consecutive moving image is put against rather than next to the one preceding it, like counterpoint music. Counterpoint montage undermines the strict temporal sequencing of clips in cinematic narrative as it asks the viewer to actively interpret them in pairs. This paper suggests that contrapuntally linked lines of action within mini-episodes constitute a genuinely innovative instance of spatial montage as [t]he Study of Counterpoint might be compared to the study of perspective. [...] Both reflect the rise of three-dimensional thought (Mann 1971 [1943]: p.vii). Interpretation of Content Contextualisation The investigation of distinctively modern urban themes is coupled here with an extensive interpretation of the results of the analytical phase that seeks to contextualise Vertovs movie, in an attempt to address potential shortcomings of the formalist method. Functions that are featured in the first storyline are pigeonholed under three main categories, each corresponding to a different sector of the economy: primary heavy industry secondary construction, household economy, manufacturing tertiary recreation, public utilities, social services, private trade, personal services, and media. The statistical processing of this kind of metadata yields extremely interesting results. MwtMCs cinematic city favours the depiction of services over heavy industry. This is slightly out of tune with the official rhetoric of its times but renders Vertovs celluloid city much more contemporary. The second storyline of the movie is subject to a different kind of treatment. Statistical-style analysis, coupled with extensive archival research in Moscow (RGALI) and Vienna (Austrian Film Museum) shed new light on the discussion about film production and, primarily, the suspicious suppression of the role of preproduction in MwtMCs representation of film production and, to a certain extent, Vertovs own writings. Handwritten notes from Vertovs archive suggest a high level of planning that challenges widely held opinions about the preparations or the lack there of (Barnouw 1974: p.57) for the shoots. In fact, Vertov and his creative team appear to have been using all sorts of visual aid in order to organise the shoots, short of traditional storyboarding. Instead, Vertov proposes as archival material suggest ( .2091, .1, .. .29) a much more efficient way of producing compelling symphonic narrations that resembles the kind of sketching involved in argumentation mapping nowadays. This sketching clearly demonstrates Vertovs intention: each mini-episode constitutes a persuasive cinematic argument on the basis of a crude binary opposition (i.e. inanimate vs. animate square). These oppositions are waved in the final segment of the plot the Recapitulation where all three storylines and their corresponding narrative frameworks merge into a single storyworld.

The Socialist City of the Future The first part concludes with a discussion on what for this paper constitutes a unique complicity between theories of city-planning from the 1920s and 1930s in the USSR primarily the urbanist-disurbanist dispute over the development of the Socialist city and Vertovs cinematic city. We have argued that MwtMCs development resembles the formal exposition of a fugue: it consists of a series of loosely related mini-episodes whose fractal-like structure echoes the same basic motif, the contrapuntal linking of at least two lines of action. The study of novel urban themes coupled with an in-depth examination of theories of city-planning from the USSR of the 1920s reveals that this pairing of two or more lines of action in the miniepisodes of the plot is neither arbitrary nor irrelevant to the discussion on the future of the Socialist city. Mini-episodes that depict public spaces, the street, transportation and communication, the market, sports grounds etc. can be said to illustrate Lissitzkys publication on Soviet architecture and city-planning (1930) or Ginzburg and Barshchs proposal for the Socialist Reconstruction of Moscow (1929). If this holds true for other city symphonies as well additional research should be undertaken in this direction then, our proposed ontology-based annotation with structured metadata is probably right to emphasise formal categories (subclasses, categories and subcategories) that aim to foreground spatial qualities alongside aspects of style. Cambridge City Symphony The second and significantly shorter part of this paper registers a less extensive but equally important area of research: the conceptualisation, design and production of a non-linear, interactive moving-image work for the digital screen, based on the formal and stylistic analyses of Vertovs movie. The production of Cambridge City Symphony [CSS] (Alifragkis & Penz, UK, 2006) proof-of-concept prototype aims to assess and, where needed, update the storytelling potentialities of the city symphony form as instantiated in MwtMC for the worlds of digitality and interactivity. At the same time, it offers a way of sharpening the aforementioned analytical tool the proposed ontology as it is this same tool that is being utilised here in a reverse engineering process for the production of CCS. Architect Media Tool, the experimental software that facilitated the computer-aided, ontology-based annotation of Vertovs movie with structured metadata, is used here for the production of a compelling cinematic narration about Market Place, Cambridge, UK. This research, by way of experimenting with the functionalities of the abovementioned software for the production of a moving-image work la Vertov, made several useful suggestions that, along with similar input from other NM2 consortium media productions, informed the design of the new ShapeShift toolset for non-linear, interactive projects. The production of CCS benefited from all the intermediate and interdependent phases of MwtMCs shot-by-shot formal and stylistic analysis. The statistical processing of aspects of style informed both CCSs shooting style and the accumulation of suitable database items for the reconstruction of Cambridges cinematic terrain. Metadata about shooting locations and activities for MwtMC provided a highly exceptional shooting script and shot list for the production of CCS.

The segmentation and analysis of MwtMCs plot dictated CCSs formal structure. Vertovs writings and relevant material from his archive in Moscow (RGALI) influenced CCSs production practices and philosophy. Even the discussion on the affinities between the cinematic image of Vertovs city and the 1920s debate for the ideal Socialist city of the future inspired the reconstruction of Cambridges topography on the canvas of the digital screen. After all, the design of university campuses and colleges has inherited quite a lot from the rich traditions of utopian architecture and city-planning (Muthesius 2000). Cambridge, a typical university town whose academic infrastructure communal kitchens and dining halls, fitness centres and sports facilities, common rooms, communal study places and limited private spaces has been developing over the past eight centuries (Clark 1906), appears to be well suited for a symphonic cinematic treatment. CCS attempted to revisit creatively what this research holds true for MwtMC, the notion that, in the ideal city of the future, collective happiness is pursued in the openness of the communal or public spaces of the city. Concluding Remarks Cambridge City Symphony pilot prototype has been presented and evaluated in different locations (Cambridge 2005 and 2007; Delft 2005; Athens 2006; Thessaloniki 2007, Salzburg 2008) that correspond to extremely diverse environments (education, industry, tourism, exhibition) and simulate various viewing experiences (lean forward, gallery/exhibition space projection, private booth projection, presentation). Respondents input suggests that the rhetorical power of the city symphony form as exemplified in Vertovs Man with the Movie Camera (USSR, 1929) remains still extremely effective in expressing with moving images the pluralism, diversity, simultaneity, complexity, and fragmentation of contemporary urban life. In addition, it demonstrates that the storytelling potentiality of fugal, thematic, and episodic structuring with micro-narratives (segments, narrative threads, mini-episodes) that interweave contrapuntally seemingly unrelated lines of action evocative of a consistent and comprehensive vision of urbanism proposes a realistic alternative to linear, character-based, cause-and-effect dramatic plots with goaloriented protagonists. Bibliography Alifragkis, Stavros & Penz, Franois 2009. Dziga Vertovs Man with the Movie Camera: Ontology-based Metadata Annotation for Non-acted, Montage Moving Image Works about Urban Cinematic Landscapes, Maske und Kothurn, 55, pp.81-96. Barnouw, Erik 1974. Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film. New York: Oxford University Press. Barthes, Roland 2004 [1973]. S/Z. Malden, MA; Oxford; Carlton, Victoria: Blackwell. Benjamin, Walter 2002 [1936]. Selected Writings [Volume 3: 1935-1938]. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Boa, Elizabeth & Reid, J.H. 1972. Critical Strategies: German Fiction in the Twentieth Century. London: Edward Arnold. Bordwell, David & Thompson, Kristin 1993 [1979]. Film Art: An Introduction. New York; St. Louis; San Francisco: McGraw-Hill. 10

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