Kino-Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov

9/21/11 to 12/1/11

The films of Russian filmmaker and film theorist Dziga Vertov (1896–1954), intended as bold aesthetic experiments in documenting contemporary life, are as revelatory today as when they first premiered. Including both newsreels and feature films and extending over three months, Kino-Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov is the largest series of Vertov's films ever mounted at the PFA Theater.

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Past Films

  • The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty

    • Thursday, December 1 7:00 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. A devastating chronicle of Tsarist Russia from the eve of World War I until its brutal demise, Fall comprises hundreds of films that Esfir Shub unearthed and rescued from neglected corners of the Soviet Union, including home movies taken by the Tsar's own cameramen. (101 mins)

  • Three Heroines

    • Tuesday, November 29 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R, 1938). Three Heroines follows the legendary female pilots Raskova, Osipenko, and Grisodubova in their failed but magnificent attempt to make the first nonstop trans-Siberian flight. Followed by For You, Front! (99 mins)

  • Three Songs of Lenin

    • Sunday, November 20 2 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1935/38). Vertov's three-part masterwork glorifies Lenin's life and legacy through folkloric songs, tales, and mythologies, but transcends time and politics through art and form. “One of the greatest and most beautiful films I have ever seen” (H.G. Wells). Followed by Lullaby. (125 mins)

  • Stride, Soviet! (The Moscow Soviet in the Present, Past, and Future)

    • Tuesday, November 15 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1926). Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Vertov transformed a commission about Moscow elections into this kino-tribute to “the poetry of machines.” Followed by Mikhail Kaufman's 1929 portrait of man and nature, In Spring. (132 mins)

  • The Man with a Movie Camera

    • Tuesday, November 8 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1929). PFA Collection Print! Witty, sassy, with an infectious joie de vivre, this ecstatic portrait of a city and its inhabitants demonstrates Vertov's "kino-eye" theory endowing the camera with the flexibility of the human eye-and the associative powers of a poet's brain. (67 mins)

  • Kino-Eye

    • Sunday, November 6 2 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1924). Preceded by a 40-minute lecture by Yuri Tsivian. Judith Rosenberg on piano. Vertov's radical film theories at their most vivid, Kino-Eye embraces ultra-high speed photography, microcinematography, and multiple exposures to advance cinema as an art. With Kino-Pravda No. 23 (Radio Pravda). (141 mins)

  • Kino-Pravda Nos. 18, 20–22

    • Tuesday, November 1 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1924–25). Judith Rosenberg on Piano. More newsreels from the foreground of the cinematic revolution, including the famous “Film Poem about Lenin” and “the Peasant Kino-Pravda.” Preceded by Guy Maddin's The Heart of the World. (87 mins)

  • Kino-Pravda Nos. 14–17

    • Tuesday, October 25 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1922–23). Judith Rosenberg on piano. This program features some of Aleksandr Rodchenko's most ingenious experiments in graphic design, and some of Vertov's most thrilling images of montage and trick photography, including newspapers bursting into “agit-shells” and a proletarian “Hammer of Knowledge.” With short Soviet Toys. (92 mins)

  • Kino-Pravda Nos. 9–11, 13 (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: A Film Poem Dedicated to the October Celebrations)

    • Tuesday, October 18 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1922). Introduction by Anne Nesbet. Judith Rosenberg on piano. This compilation of Vertov's newsreels (or “issues”) of Kino-Pravda includes the famous number 13, well known for its astounding Constructivist titles by Aleksandr Rodchenko. (86 mins)

  • Kino-Week Nos. 31–35

    • Tuesday, October 11 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1919). Introduction by Anne Nesbet. Judith Rosenberg on piano. More newsreels from a turbulent era, the Soviet Union circa 1919. With The Eleventh Year, Vertov's spectacular hymn to the anniversary of the Revolution. (97 mins)

  • Kino-Week Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 21–25

    • Tuesday, September 27 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1918). Introduction by Anne Nesbet. Judith Rosenberg on piano. From May 1918 to June 1919 Vertov recorded several “issues” of Kino-Week, which now stand as a priceless record of daily life during a tumultuous time: the civil war between the Red and White Armies, the brutal end of World War I, and the government's “Red Terror” policies. With shorts (74 mins)

  • Kino-Pravda, Nos. 1–8

    • Sunday, September 25 2pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1922). Introduction by Adelheid Heftberger. Judith Rosenberg on piano. The twenty-three newsreel issues of Kino-Pravda are among Vertov's most radical works; this program follows an entire three-year cycle of works. “A time lapse showing the growth of Soviet avant-garde cinema” (Yuri Tsivian). (78 mins)

  • Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass

    • Friday, September 23 7 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1930). Introduction by Adelheid Heftberger. Vertov's first sound film is a masterpiece of Russian avant-garde cinema, disguised as a paean to coal and steel workers, and has inspired directors such as Charlie Chaplin, Joris Ivens, and Wang Bing. (67 mins)

  • A Sixth Part of the World (A Kino-Eye Race around the USSR. Export and Import by the State Trading Organization of the U.S.S.R.)

    • Wednesday, September 21 7:30 pm

    Dziga Vertov (U.S.S.R., 1926). Judith Rosenberg on piano. Vertov turned a commissioned film into “the next stage of cinema,” a Walt Whitmanesque ode to the vastness and diversity of the Soviet Union. With short Kino-Pravda No. 19. “If I had to choose the ten best documentaries of all time I'd call it preposterous but if there's ONE to choose: A Sixth of the World” (Chris Marker). (92 mins)