Clark first-year students watch, discuss 'Man with a Movie Camera'

The original movie poster from "Man With A Movie Camera." The original movie poster from "Man with a Movie Camera."

In a darkened theater inside Atwood Hall, Clark University’s newest students received an introduction to academic life during two screenings of the silent film “Man with a Movie Camera.” The 1929 work by Dziga Vertov was part of the orientation program called “Life of the Eye, Ear and Mind” and featured musical accompaniment by the renowned Alloy Orchestra.

The film’s scenes depict a typical Soviet day, showing images of both rest and industry, and the three-person orchestra added a variety of sounds, using percussion instruments, keyboards and more. Hugh Manon, associate professor of Screen Studies and director of the Screen Studies program in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, asked the first-years to think critically and to focus on the details of both what was (and wasn’t) shown in the film as well as to question it wildly at first and know that ambiguity is sometimes intentional.

After the film, student groups discussed it with faculty from a variety of departments to hear different perspectives and, as Manon said in his introduction, to “ask the unexpected questions.”