'Man in a Blizzard': Roger Ebert thinks this NYC snowpocalypse video deserves an Oscar

Oh, Internet, you’re the best friend ever. Thanks to you, the cosmically destructive blizzard that shut down the Northeast earlier this week already has a comprehensive Wikipedia page. And now, the storm has its own definitive movie: Man in a Blizzard (a.k.a. Idiot with a Tripod), a short video shot mid-storm by Jamie Stuart, a New York City filmmaker. Roger Ebert is already championing the film for a short-subject Oscar, not least because because the film doubles as a wonderful homage to Man with a Movie Camera, the 1929 film by Russian director Dziga Vertov that invented and/or perfected basically every cool cinematic technique. It’s difficult to describe the appeal of Man in a Blizzard – it initially seems like a series of random shots, but Stuart’s technical precision elevate it into something more: rapturous, joyful, even funny. Check it out below!

PopWatchers, do you think Ebert’s onto something? Could this inspire a new wave of “city symphony” short films? Fellow holiday travelers, were all those terrible hours spent in stand-by at the airport worth it for this movie?

Comments (47 total) Add your comment
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  • Dan Daoust

    This word, “funny,” I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • BFD

      The guy on the moped and the dog were funny.

      Anyhow, I’d recommend it.

    • Andy

      I didn’t find any of the adjectives used to really fit this video. Maybe it’s because I live in New England and am not much impressed by snow.

  • miss k

    I really liked it! It almost has a message with the struggle and success of the cars and dog.

  • Tye-Grr


  • jfms777

    This is like “filler material” for an
    Eyewitness News broadcast, because they did not have enough stories to fill the half-hour (program). A serious movie? Roger–really?

    • Samsonite

      Cynical much?

    • Courtney

      That “filler material” is called B-roll.

  • Sven

    The music ruined the entire video. With no sound, it was far more interesting. But that music selection destroyed the entire experience.

    • Jen


  • sainsa

    the cinematography is very similar to David Fincher’s popular late 80’s/early 90’s music videos. that was a great short.

  • KC

    Simply wonderful. It takes talent and a real eye to get those images and put them together like that.

    • Howard S. Terne

      I liked it quite a bit. Well made, and very artistic. I did think that he overused the “camera tilts up” shot. Also, was the dog Bianca Romijn Stamos O’Connell?

  • Meli

    I liked it. Definitely of the quality of some of the crap you see nominated for the Short-Subject films on the Oscar telecast. And if the dude wins, he’ll be like every other winner of that Oscar–he’ll show up wearing a bad tux, give a pretentious 10-minute acceptance speech, then tell his kids to go to bed. And the ceremony will be lasting until midday the following Monday.

  • MsSuniDaze

    I really liked this. It had a lot of great shots and was well done. Love the guy on the moped.

  • zozo

    Very cool…really loved the musical selection.

  • Kim

    can i have the 3 minutes of my life back that i spent watching this video.

  • Jeremy

    okay, maybe an honorable mention for Cinematography in some New York film festival… but THE OSCARS!?

    This is a collection of shots with dreamy music… does a montage make a complete film?

    it’s a point to argue, but i mean… come on Roger Ebert…

    • ‘k

      I agree with Jeremy. There were some lovely shots. A couple that even made me smile in mild amusement. But that’s about the extent of it. Bless Roger’s heart, I think he may be basking in the glow of some really good Christmas cheer.

    • Meli

      What you describe is 99.99% of what either gets nominated or wins the Best Live Action Short film. To that end, it probably deserves the same chances as any other film nominated.

  • Kathy

    Very atmospheric. I liked it. I thought the music added a lot to it.

  • Al

    I understand this was shot with a Canon dslr and edited on a apple computer. I guess the technology is there for anybody with a vision and the creative know-how to make a great movie.

  • Daniel F

    A Dziga Vertov shoutout! Nice.

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