This Saturday, April the 10th, we will be screening Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov and also, if we have time, Vertov’s Three Songs for Lenin. Vertov was a Russian filmmaker and propagandist who pioneered many film techniques, and was among the first to experiment with collage and other avant garde ideas. He was also tremendously influential on the development of many later western filmmakers. His approach, which he called Kino Pravda or “film truth”, provided some of the key ideas and the name for the Cinema Vertite or Direct Cinema movement, though his own work often differs from this movement substantially.
Man with a Movie Camera is a collage of images from soviet cities, mostly Odessa, strongly propagandistic, but beautifully accomplished nevertheless, and still powerful in its appeal. It shows soviet citizens at work and at play, and it visually argues for the role of film in this ideal soviet world by including the camera and the filmmaker themselves among the workers as they go about their business. Film, it suggests, is an integral part of the strong and healthy and productive nation.
Here are some links that might interest those looking for more information about the film and its creator:
1) a look at Vertov’s storyboard, perhaps the first in documentary history, by Roland Fischer-Briand at Rouge;
2) an introduction to a participatory “global remake” of the film, with a version of the remade film that is edited daily; and
3) an introduction to Vertov by Jonathan Dawson at Senses of Cinema.
The soup that night will be Green Soup, one of my mother’s creations.
The event will be at my place, 130 Dublin Street, Guelph, and all are welcome. We will eat at about 5:30 and begin the film at about 6:00. As usual, I would appreciate an email or a comment to let me know that you will be coming.
Also, here are some of the upcoming films we will be showing: