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Dziga Vertov. Man With A Movie Camera


Gent, April, 22, 2017


The Ukrainian Renaissance period (at the beginning of 20 century) was reach for prominent artists, whose brilliant ideas became famous all over the world. These people were ethnic Ukrainians, for exapmle, M.Khvylovy, O.Dovzhenko, L.Kurbas, as well as they belong to other nationalities, particularly – K.Malevych, Z.Serebrjakova, D. Vertov etc. They were self-sufficient and different, but the only thing united them – the common aspiration for new forms and visions everywhere: in literature, art, cinematographic art.

Dziga Vertov, real name is David Kaufman, was a strong opponent of live action movies. His main idea was to reject a “human as an object” of film and to focus on true reality “without actors and decorations”. | People with the same point of view consolidated around him – so-called “kino-oko” group. They aimed to show real life around them with no staging and no corrections. | They reflected the world around in innovative and creative way, so they provoked a critics from the authority side, but earned (achieved) world-wide fame. Vertov was fired from SovKino (Soviet Film Organization) due to excessive formalism which did not correspond to the main principles of Soviet Union. |

We should notice, that at the beginning the Soviet Authority in Ukraine was loyal to different kinds of art experiments. Thus Dzyga Vertov found his own place in Ukrainian Renaissance. The movie “Man with a camera” was shot in Ukraine. The film represents the urban life of Odesa, Kharkiv and Kyiv, shows the city moods and people likings, stress on artistic images and draws parallels. According to the author, the film is self-sufficient, thus he did not use screen scripts, scenery, subtitles, even more, there were no actors. The film is reach for details, characters and senses, therefore it reflects neatly the atmosphere of that time.

“Man with a camera” was not evaluated during the life of Dzyga Vertov, his ideas became comprehensible and popular only in 60-s after his death. Nowadays, this film became a historical window to that time and handbook for camera operators. From one side, it shows the routine life of Ukrainian city before the soviet repressions, but from other side it reveals unknown issues of city life. There we can find vyshyvanka and Latin signboards, as well as proletarian enthusiasm. From other point of view, this film is manual for camera operators and film editors Different methods of shootings, such as shooting at an angle, shooting at a reflection, speed and slow shooting, overlapping shooting and branded Vertov's shooting – shooting under the train – can be found in the one film. Thus no wonder, that a lot of time was invested to montage (edidting). Dziga Vertov made it in collaboration with his wife Elyzaveta Svitlova.


We hope you will enjoy this attempt at cinematographic diffusion of visual scenes! Have a nice time!

To read more about Dziga Vertov and his works plase, follow links below: