Life As it Was: Dziga Vertov

Dziga Vertov's MAN WITH A CAMERA (1929).

Consider this post an APB to any Pictorial readers in the New York City area. Anthology Film Archives’ Essential Cinema series will, during the month of August, feature a retrospective of the films of pioneering documentarian Dziga Vertov. Anthology Film Archives has a well-earned reputation for exhibiting some of the very best collections of independent and avant-garde cinema in the world and its upcoming look at Vertov’s work looks to be yet another feather in their cap:

  • Wednesday, Aug 4 – A Sixth of the World (1926)
  • Thursday, Aug 5 – Forward, Soviet! (1925)
  • Friday, Aug 6 – Enthusiasm (1931)
  • Friday, Aug 13 – Kino-Eye (1925)
  • Saturday, Aug 14 – Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
  • Sunday, Aug 15 – Three Songs (1934)
  • Sunday, Aug 15 – The Eleventh Year (1928)

These silent/early sound films demonstrate the reasons that Vertov, as Sense of Cinema put it, was the “leading theoretician of the new art of cinema itself “ during the late 1920s.

Man With a Camera is essential viewing—a ‘symphonic cataglogue’ of Russian society. But the series will also present more seldom-viewed, yet no less crucial, films that fully capture Vertov’s introspective eye and breathtaking ability to ‘catch life red-handed,’ particularly Enthusiasm and Kino-Eye. Still controversial in subject matter (Enthusiasm in particular) Vertov’s visuals are, along with Sergei Eisenstein, prototypes of Cinema Verite and remain strikingly poetic, key pieces of international cinema.

ENTHUSIASM (1931)"Long live life as it is!" - Vertov
“…They have perfected the cinecamera to penetrate more deeply into the visible world … to explore and record the visual phenomena so that what is happening now, which will have to be taken account of in the future, is not forgotten.” – Vertov

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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