Kino-eye by Dziga Vertov talks about this idea of “cinematography” as being corrupt because it takes away from the real beauty and magic that the simple art of cinema portrays on camera. Vertov strongly urges to get rid of “cinematography” because it tampers with the truth in cinema.  Vertov encourages a revolution of film production towards improving the use of the camera to help capture things that can’t be seen with the naked eye.  In Vertov’s passages titled “Kinoks: A Revolution” he starts off by getting our attention though the repetitive use of the word “you” to refer to the various producers, directors, theaters and spectators who view film. He says that these individuals, which include ourselves, are “waiting for something that will not come” and that the “wait is pointless “(11). This idea of waiting Vertov refers to is the idea that the audience and the makers of film are so caught up in what we wish to portray and what is being portrayed on film that we fail to comprehend and over look the truth behind the work of film as a whole.

Vertov goes into talking about the transformation of film. He believes that by taking out the themes in a work of film no matter what its composition, as long as one leaves the captions, one is still able to change any work of film by replacing it with new illustrations while keeping the film’s original “literary skeleton” (12). He says that “this situation will not change” and the “the correlation is the same” (12).  Vertov is also a strong advocate towards the experimentation of film, and encourages filmmakers to stray away from the norm. He states that there has been a “strong technological lag” and “a loss of active thinking” (13). Vertov directly states “Cinema’s system is poisoned with the terrible toxin of routine. We demand the opportunity to test the antidote we’ve found upon its dying body” (13). When Vertov says this he means that cinema has become so bland and uninspiring due to its repetitive routine that in order to correct the problem there is a need for change and testing of camera work to solve this issue.

A line that I found interesting that Vertov states in this expert is “the situation on the film front must be considered inauspicious” (13). When Vertov is saying this he is directly telling the readers of his work that one should view film as something more than what is portrayed on its surface. One shouldn’t completely trust what they see on the screen and instead look beyond. “We cannot improve the making of our eyes, but we can endlessly perfect the camera.” In Vertov’s manifesto he also spends a great deal advocating that the human eye is “weak” (16). Vertov says the human eye is unable to perceive everything and therefore one should use the camera to capture what the naked eyed can’t see. The machine he repeatedly uses at the end of his excerpt is the camera. The camera, Vertov states, has an eye of its own which he refers to as the “mechanical eye” (19). The camera he believes, should be separate from the control of humans. The action that the camera captures should be something that unfolds without much interference.

There is an idea of being in the middle of the action and not just simply seeing what is present on the screen. There is a direct relationship between the audience and the characters of the film that the camera is involved in showing.  The camera should carry the “film viewer’s eyes…in the most advantageous sequence, and organizes the details into an orderly montage study “(16).  There is no need for “painting, theater, cinematography, and other castrated outpourings” Vertov proclaims because “Radio-ear” and the “Kino- eye” hears and sees (18).  “Within the chaos of movement, running past, away, running into and colliding- the eye, all by itself, enters life” (Vertov 18).  When Vertov says this he means that the eye is able to see through the camera and link the “montage” of images together to come up with one’s own interpretation of a piece of film. The need for “cinematography” isn’t needed because through the camera, the spectator is able to enter the world of the characters in the film without the need for special effects and continuous editing.

I think Vertov is trying to prove that the average human is already equipped with the necessities of interpreting film on our own. The use of cinematography therefore is unnecessary in helping us to do so. The reality is that the use of editing tricks and manipulation of cinematography hinders its truth and the potential of what the camera can truly capture without the use of it. I really enjoyed reading this piece of writing by Vertov. I like how he used words like “you” and “we” because it made me feel as if I was directly part of his work and he was talking to me. I also loved his use of metaphors and similes. The tone of his writing was serious yet enjoyable and exciting to read. I was certainly convinced  and persuaded by his writing.

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