In 1929, the year it was released, films had an average shot length (ASL) of 11.2 seconds. "Man With a Movie Camera" had an ASL of 2.3 seconds. The ASL of Michael Bay's "Armageddon" was -- also 2.3 seconds. Why would I begin a discussion of a silent classic by discussing such a mundane matter? It helps to understand the impact the film made at the time. Viewers had never seen anything like it, and Mordaunt Hall, the horrified author of the New York Times review, wrote: "The producer, Dziga Vertof, does not take into consideration the fact that the human eye fixes for a certain space of time that which holds the attention." This reminds me of Harry Carey's advice in 1929 to John Wayne, as the talkies were coming in: "Stop halfway through every sentence. The audience can't listen that fast."