Rabu, 08 Juni 2011

Dziga Vertov - Kino-pravda no. 19 (1924)


Issue 19 tries to do many things at once — maybe a little too many for one reel. First, it contrasts cold and hot, winter and summer, Russia’s arctic regions and Russia’s Southern sea (named Black). Perhaps Eisenstein had a point when he said, with his usual deadly wit, that Vertov’s dream was to lick Nanook and Moana in one fell swoop (see the chapter "Vertov versus Eisenstein" in Lines of Resistance). Secondly, Vertov dedicates this issue of Kino-Pravda to "Woman, peasant woman, worker woman", a theme which defines the dominant gender of this film, particularly towards the end. A young woman types; another woman milks a cow; another works a field, etc. Women in politics: a State woman speaks; Lenin’s wife and sister — shown at Lenin’s funeral, and by his side when he was still alive. And at the very end, pro domo sua: "The editing of the negative for Kino-Pravda No. 19," says the title, and Vertov’s wife, the kinoc editor Elizaveta Svilova, is shown editing the very film we are watching. Déjà vu? If so, then in reverse: there is a similar sequence in Man with a Movie Camera, a film yet to be made.
There is also another sequence in Kino-Pravda No. 19 which anticipates a similar trick from Man with a Movie Camera (and, in a strange way, brings to mind that early British film, How It Feels to Be Run Over). This issue, as the one released before it, is a camera race, so images of women doing different jobs are connected by a recurrent subject: a train in movement, often with the movie camera mounted on the car roof. At one point a curious intertitle informs us: "4 metres of movie-camera memory, as it falls under the wheels of the freight train." The huge wheels flash by; a view from under the train. That’s it. The last 4 metres of what the movie camera remembers. Evidently, in the eyes of the kinocs their kino-eye was a living being. – YURI TSIVIAN

 no. 19 .avi

no pass

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