Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass

Adelheid Heftberger is curator of the Vertov Collection at the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna.

(Entuziazm). “Vertov's first sound film, a masterpiece of Russian avant-garde cinema, is a paean to coal and steel workers and the supremacy of Soviet industrial production. Vertov's rousing ‘symphony' of man and machine, made in celebration of the Five Year Plan of the late 1920s, has inspired countless filmmakers throughout the century, from Charlie Chaplin and Joris Ivens to Richard Serra, Harun Farocki, Wang Bing, and Lucy Raven-filmmakers who have sought to recapture the film's dynamic rhythms even as they critique or parody its heroic idealism” (MoMA). Vertov's 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 will screen was restored by filmmaker/archivist Peter Kubelka at the Austrian Film Museum in the 1970s.

This page may by only partially complete.