- An English man and an Irish man are driving head on , at night, on a twisty, dark road. Both are driving too fast for the conditions and collide on a sharp bend in the road. To the amazement of both, they are unscathed, though their cars are both destroyed. In celebration of their luck, both agree to put aside their dislike for the other from that moment on. At this point, the Englishman goes to the boot and fetches a 12 year old bottle of whisky. He hands the bottle to the Irish man, whom exclaims,'' may the Irish and the English live together forever, in peace, and harmony.'' The Irish man then tips the bottle and gulps half of the bottle down. Still flabbergasted over the whole thing, he goes to hand the bottle to the Englishman, whom replies: '' no thanks, I'll just wait till the Police get here!'' [ 6 ]
Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929), now claimed as the most venerable and venerated ancestor of the essay film (and this despite its prototypically purist claim to realise a ‘universal’ cinematic language “based on its complete separation from the language of literature and the theatre”) is the archetypal model of this high-modernist agon. While it is the turning of the movie projector itself and the penetrating gaze of Vertov’s kino-eye that sets the whirling dynamo of the city into motion, the recorder creating that which it records, that motion is also outside its control.