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Man with a Movie Camera, with live score by Montopolis

Man with a Movie Camera, with live score by Montopolis

Secret Movie Club and Los Angeles Filmforum

Man with a Movie Camera, with live score by Montopolis

Friday May 12, 2023, 7:30 pm

At Secret Movie Club, 1917 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, LA, CA 90021

Full info:

In person: Montopolis, featuring the music of Justin Sherburn

Tickets: $18 advance; $21 day of, at

This is a Secret Movie Club ticketed event with a higher cost because of the special nature of the event with live music.  Thus, we are unable to offer discounted admission or free admission to members for this event.  Sorry for any inconvenience, and our apologies to our members.

Masks are still required at Filmforum shows - N95 or KN95.


"Revered as a visual masterpiece and one of the greatest documentary films ever made, Man with a Movie Camera (1929) 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.

"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

A national tour of arthouse cinemas this spring will partner music group Montopolis with relief organization The Bird of Light Ukraine  to raise awareness of the refugee crisis in Ukraine. 

Montopolis will perform a live score to Man with a Movie Camera, a 1929 silent film depicting life in the cities of Odessa and Kyiv, Ukraine. One of the most influential documentaries ever made, the film recently placed 8th on the 2022 Sight and Sound Greatest films of all time poll.  The live score by Montopolis has been called "stunning and transcendent" by the Austin Chronicle.

Montopolis is an indie chamber music group from Austin, Texas that performs the works of composer Justin Sherburn. Their music folds country and folk idioms into modern classical arrangements with inventive instrumentation to create "stunning and transcendent" (Austin Chronicle) concerts.Their programs are audience-engaging, multi-media events that combine live music with video and interactive story telling. Their most recent albums, Music for Enchanted Rock and The Legend of Big Bend, are themed around Texan ecological points of interest. Montopolis will continue to be inspired by and draw attention to the natural wonders of our state, country and planet. The Montopolis musicians include members of the Austin Symphony, Okkervil River, Tosca String Quartet, and the Polyphonic Spree.

Secret Movie Club Frequently Asked Questions:


Secret Movie Club offers refunds up to 24 hours before showtime. Please request a refund through Eventbrite and we will process ASAP. After that, no refunds. Sorry.

However, if something last minute comes up and you can’t make the screening, for whatever reason, just write to us before showtime: and we’ll offer you complimentary tickets to a future screening, good for 90 days. (Disclaimer: Future screening must have available tickets, cannot be a fundraiser, and must be comparably priced)


SECRET MOVIE CLUB THEATER (1917 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, LA, CA 90021)

We recommend that you park just outside our theater. Remember our theater is actually in a beautiful street art alleyway in the back of the 1917 Bay Street building. You get to our entrance by taking a right on Wilson, then a right behind the building. We are the first set of black steps on the right after the big gate.

There is also a parking lot at the corner of Mateo and Violet Street, just 2 blocks from our theater, which costs $7 per car.


The Bird of Light Ukraine organization has built a humanitarian supply line that sends millions of dollars of goods to the hardest hit parts of Ukraine.  With in-depth knowledge of the region, they can respond quickly to the greatest needs as situations change on the ground, a challenge for larger, more prominent NGOs.  Donations for Bird of Light will be accepted in the lobby at every screening on the tour, and a portion of the proceeds from the entire tour will be donated to support their efforts. 


self referential copy

Man with a Movie Camera - the audience within the film watching "Man with a Movie Camera"

Man with a Movie Camera

Man with a Movie Camera, by Dziga Vertov

USSR, 1929, DCP, 68 min.

We are excited and honored to partner with the Secret Movie Club to present a special screening of Dziga Vertov’s montage/documentary/experimental masterpiece Man With A Movie Camera with live original score by Austin, Texas indie chamber group Montopolis.

The best way to describe Man with a Movie Camera is to experience it for yourself. However, until you can do that, we’ll do our poor best to set up one of the great, exciting, inspiring movie experiences of cinema’s first golden period:

Vertov, his brother Mikhail Kaufman (who acted as the cameraman both real and in front of the camera), and Vert’s wife Yelizaveta Svilova (who edited), worked to create an experimental kind of documentary that explored almost every cinematic trick and technique available in 1929. Along the way Vertov and his team pushed, invented, and expanded more cinematic language to inspire and launch filmmakers into the sound era.

Much like F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise illuminated a cinematic road of design, atmosphere, lighting via German expressionism, Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera illuminated a road of editing techniques, lab processes, special effects, camera effects that proved that cinema could be a vessel of poetry and experimentation far beyond what the theater, the novel, the canvas could accomplish.

Vertov himself, like Lars Von Trier near seventy years later, accompanied the movie with a manifesto that in part read:

The film Man with a Movie Camera



Of visual phenomena


(a film without intertitles)


(a film without a scenario)


(a film without actors, without sets, etc.)

This new experimentation work by Kino-Eye is directed towards the creation of an authentically international absolute language of cinema on the basis of its complete separation from the language of theatre and literature.

If you’ve never seen Man with a Movie Camera, it’s a gloriously passionate, almost hyperactive look at hustling bustling life and the act of making a movie itself. Filled with multiple exposures, slo and fast motion, split screens, it explodes into a kaleidoscope of cinematic technique.

All this cinematic inspiration will be happening to the live original score of the indie chamber group Montopolis.

This is one of those bucket list screenings if you are a lover and student of cinematic expression. Get your tickets now before they're gone!

Best always,

Craig Hammill

Secret Movie Club Founder, Programmer

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