Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Cinema is for us the most important of arts"- Lenin

"Man With a Movie Camera" was an effort to show the breadth and precision of the camera's recording ability, and similar films were produced in a few other European countries. The film is a succession of images supposedly showing the audience what the camera eye is seeing. Vertov's brother, Mikhail Kaufman, is the cameraman, and at times another movie camera follows "Man With a Movie Camera" on the street and in other places. In one sequence some women in a cab notice the cameraman smirk and gesture at the camera as they ride through the streets of Moscow.
Vertov explained his actions with profound statements such as, "Construction must be understood as the co-ordinating function of Constructivism. If the tectonic unites the ideological and formal, and as a result gives a unity of conception, and the factura is the condition of the material, then the construction discovers the actual process of putting together. Thus we have the third discipline, the discipline of the formation of conception through the use of worked material. All hail to the Communist expression of material building."
Dziga Vertov, born Denis Arkadievitch Kaufman (1896-1954), was the son of Jewish intellectuals who moved to Moscow to flee the invading German armies during World War I. He trained as a musician and neurologist, and he had studied at the Moscow Psycho-neurological Institute. He was also a poet, fiction writer and journalist. He was conducting experiments in synthetic sound before the outbreak of hostilities against the Czar. During the revolution he was in charge of photographic work in a partisan army fighting the Czar, and in 1918 after the Communist takeover, he was placed at the head of the Cinema Department of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. It was there that he met his future wife and collaborator, Elizaveta Svilova (1900-1976), who began her film career with Pathe Freres in Moscow. He abandoned the name of Denis Kaufman and adopted Dziga Vertov which was derived from the verb which means to spin and Dziga is the repetitive sound of a camera crank turning
(dziga, dziga, dziga ... ).(

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