Feb 12, 2008

17th February 2008; Screening of documentary and short film

Screening of documentary and short film

Man With a Movie Camera (1929) a celebrated 68 minute
documentary film
West Bank Story a 21 minute Oscar winning musical comedy.

"I am kino-eye, I am mechanical eye, I, a machine,
show you the world as only I can see it."
- Dziga Vertov

Man With a
Movie Camera

Path breaking avant-garde documentary
A revolutionary experiment in cinema

A Classic Documentary By Dziga Vertov
Country : Russia , Year : 1929
Silent film with music
Run time : 68 Min,
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium
17th February 2008 ; 5.45 pm

"My path leads to the creation of a fresh perception of the world I decipher in a new way a world unknown to you." - Dziga Vertov'

Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera (1929) is a stunning avant-garde, documentary meta-narrative which celebrates filmmaking. The film uses radical editing techniques and cinematic pyrotechnics to portray a typical day in Moscow from dawn to dusk. But Vertov isn't just recording reality, he transforms it through the power of the camera's "kino-glaz" (cinema eye). Vertov's rich imagery transcends the earth-bound limitations of our everyday ways of seeing.

Click here for Trailer of Man With A movie Camera

Vertov desired to link workers with machines. His film opens with a manifesto, a series of intertitles telling us that this film is an "experiment," a search for an "absolute language of cinema" that is "based on its total separation from the language of literature and theater." Vertov desired to create cinema that had its own "rhythm, one lifted from nowhere else, and we find it in the movements of things."

The Man With a Movie Camera is divided into nine orchestral-type movements, and several of them use rapid-fire editing, wild juxtapositions (e.g. blinking eyes with shutter blinds) and multiple exposures to mesh workers with machines in a simultaneity of reverence and celebration. Levers and wheels turn and workers synchronously turn with them. Later, Vertov reveals more mechanical reality as he juxtaposes a woman getting her hair washed with another washing clothes, and then shows a barber shaving a man, and sharpening a razor's edge. The sequence ends with newspapers rifling along a printing press, and a young woman packing cigarettes, watching the machine's quick slap pressing, while smiling at her labor.

Dziga Vertov

b. January 2, 1896, Bialystok, Poland
d. February 12, 1954, Moscow, Russia

" Our eyes see very little and very badly – so people dreamed up the microscope to let them see invisible phenomena; they invented the telescope…now they have perfected the cinecamera to penetrate more deeply into he visible world, to explore and record visual phenomena so that what is happening now, which will have to be taken account of in the future, is not forgotten. "
—Provisional Instructions to Kino-Eye Groups, Dziga Vertov, 1926

So much of what Dziga Vertov thought and wrote about cinema was written at the time of the greatest propagandist uproar in the twentieth century—the birth of the Modern Soviet State. Yet so much, in hindsight, sounds more like a classic realist position than that of the formalist experiments Vertov claimed for his group, Kino-Pravda and its doctrine of Kino Eye—the term he invented to cover both the ideology of his short lived group and the filmmakers in it. For a little more than ten years he was, along with Sergei Eisenstein, the leading theoretician of the new art of cinema itself and by the end of that ten years his career and his outpouring of cinema ideas were effectively over.

Dziga Vertov was born as Denis Abramovich (later changed to Arkadievich) Kaufman in a Jewish book-dealer's family. As a child, he studied piano and violin, and at ten began to write poetry. In 1918 Mikhail Koltstov, who headed the Moscow Film Committee's newsreel section, hired Vertov as his assistant. Among Vertov's colleagues was Lev Kuleshov, who was conducting his now legendary experiments in montage, as well as Edouard Tissé, Eisenstein's future cameraman. Vertov began to edit documentary footage and soon was appointed editor of Kinonedelya, the first Soviet weekly newsreel. His first film as a director was The Anniversary of the Revolution (1919), followed by two shorts, Battle of Tsaritsyn (1920) and The Agit-Train Vsik (1921), as well as the thirteen-reel History of Civil War (1922).

He called the 23 newreels he directed between 1922 and 1925 Kino-Pravda, 'pravda' being the Russian word for the truth .Vertov's films represented an intricate blend of art and political and poetic rhetoric. In recent years Vertov's heritage of poetic documentary has influenced many filmmakers all over the world.


West Bank Story
A Short Film by Ari Sandel
Genre: Satire, Musical Comedy, Message Movie
Year 2005 ; Run time : 21 min.
Won Oscar. Another 5 win

Click here for Trailer of West Bank Story

Ari Sandel's allegorical musical comedy short West Bank Story observes the forbidden romance that blossoms between Israeli soldier David and Palestinian fast food cashier Fatima, who meet and fall for one another, despite the intense rivalry between their parents' competing falafel stands on the tumultuous West Bank. Conflict builds when the pastry machine owned by The Kosher King accidentally edges over onto land owned by The Hummus Hut. This prompts the Palestinians to destroy the machine, and the Israelis retaliate by building a wall between the two properties. In the end, however, love prevails, and the obliteration of both restaurants induces the two families to establish a truce and lay the foundation for future harmony.

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