Kino-Eye

Yuri Tsivian is professor of film in the Art History Department of the University of Chicago and author of Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties. He will give a forty-minute lecture on Vertov's silent films, followed by a screening of Kino-Eye and Kino-Pravda No. 23.

(a.k.a. Kino-Glaz/Life Off-Guard). Kino-Eye, apart from being a fascinating artist newsreel of life in the young Soviet state, is also a brilliant demonstration of Vertov's radical film theories: his rejection of narrative structure as "the vodka of the masses," his sense of ordinary life as the stuff of cinematic art. For him, the camera is an extension of the human eye-recording "separate frames of truth, thematically organized so that the whole is also truth." In order to decompose phenomena and events into their constituent parts, Vertov and his cameraman, his brother Mikhail Kaufman, employed every shooting method then known, from ultra-high speed to microcinematography and multiple exposure. Of the many directors with whom Alexander Rodchenko associated, Vertov was probably the one most attuned to the same radical possibilities in photography and film art. Rodchenko created hand-drawn titles for Vertov's Kino-Pravda newsreel and a famous film poster for Kino-Eye.

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