The Man with the Movie Camera
From Taste of Cinema:
This is the grandfather of all movies about movies, Dziga Vertov’s Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera). As opposed to all other movies on this list, Man with a Movie Camera is not a documentary about the making of a film.
Whilst movies were already big business in 1929, documentaries were still rare and “making of” documentaries were non-existent. This movie is a film about film. Vertov believed that narrative film could not do justice to real life and consequently came up with this silent experimental film about life in a modern Russian city from dusk till dawn.
Even though the subject here was modern urban life, The Man with a Movie Camera distinguishes itself by constantly drawing attention to the film making process itself by blatantly using every optical trick in the book (and some that weren’t in the book yet) like slow and fast motion, split screens, double exposures, animations and even the breaking of the fourth wall by including the film maker and his camera in the footage to add to the frantic representation of modern city life.
In 2012 Man with a Movie Camera was voted 8th best Movie Ever by the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine.