Enthusiasm

Caroline Yeager is an assistant curator in the Motion Picture Department at George Eastman House.

(Entuziazm). Ostensibly a film to show how the miners of the Don coal basin were striving to fulfill in four years their part of the Five Year Plan, for Dziga Vertov Enthusiasm presented the challenge of a new cinematic medium-sound-which he used as dynamically as he had the visual image in silent films. “To grasp the feverish reality of life in the Don Basin, to convey as true to life as possible its atmosphere of the clash of hammers, of train whistles, of the songs of workers at rest-this was my aim,” he stated. His innovative approach found a fan in Charles Chaplin, who wrote, “I would never have believed it possible to assemble mechanical noises to create such beauty. One of the most superb symphonies I have known. Dziga Vertov is a musician.” The print we present, courtesy of George Eastman House, is based on a restoration completed by filmmaker Peter Kubelka at the Austrian Filmmuseum in the 1970s.

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