Archive for the “Vertov Response” Category

The first thing I noticed about this reading was Vertov’s use of Harvey’s “Elements of An Academic Essay”. Just like in the previous reading, Vertov refers to key terms such as “bourgeoisie” and “six-real cine/psycho-drama” to develop his arguments. I believe the structure of this reading was pretty straightforward, Vertov provides us with an example for each point he makes. I think his sentence structure is pretty concise and to the point as well. The tone of the reading for the first couple of pages, however, seems to be angry. During this, he seems to be bashing all filmmakers, and movie-goers, alike. This is portrayed to us through the repetition of the word you (in the manner that he says it) at the beginning of every sentence for the first few sentences.

One quote stuck with me throughout the whole entire reading. On page 81, he says, “The organism of cinematography is poisoned by the frightful venom of habit.” I think this sentence alone could be his thesis. This quotation provides us with his main argument that filmmakers have a tendency of creating their films in such a way that the films are a reflection of their viewpoints and beliefs.

After reading this, I was shocked at how forceful this whole reading seemed. Vertov seems to be sort of pushing his views onto his readers and believing that he, and only he, is right. His mention of the eyes of the audience being under slavery just attests to the fact. At one point on page 83, Vertov states that “We cannot make our eyes better than they have been made, but the movie camera we can perfect forever.” This almost sounds like a sarcastic comment trying to attack the filmmaker by saying that our eyes cannot be adapted to see from the point of view of the filmmaker.

He also goes on to talk about how time is disregarded in movies because one shot, no matter when it took place, can be “stictched” into a shot following a scene with similar characteristics. For example, he mentions, several clips of a burial process. All of these shots can be “stitched” one after another because they are all in sequence and make sense.

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When I had first learned that we would be doing a few readings by Dziga Vertov, my first thought was who is this guy and why is he so important? After reading a few of his manifestos, I am realizing just home important he and his thoughts are. Vertov was a documentary and newsreel director who is also looked at as a cinema theorist. His manifestos about kinopravda, “film truth”, and the importance, or lack there of, of cinematography are brilliant! I really find what he has to say interesting and intriguing, especially the way they are presented to us in such short precious sentences like little thoughts jotted down on a piece of paper. In class we focused on the first reading “WE: Variant of a Manifesto”, which heavily discussed the matter of cinematography and how it gets in the way of true art in films. I agree with what this first reading said, I think it’s true that the picking and cutting and editing of a film just ruin it’s true original beauty.

After reading the brief reading called “The Fifth Issue of Kinopravda”, I found out that Kinopravda was actually a film journal ran by Vertov. I think that in this Vertov is explaining that “newsreel(s) should feed off reality” (Vertov 11) and not feed into this new revelation of editing and cutting and changing things around. That a newsreel should stay close to the truth and not edit it with good lighting or fix things, it should stay close to the idea of kinopravda which is “film truth.”

Lastly the longest reading was “Kinoks: A Revolution”, which although more lengthy then the others was more full of information. I think that the first thing that stuck out to me was the structure of this reading its very well planned out, it even has subtitles which point out other pieces of evidence that support his claims on film truth and newsreels in general. The manifesto starts out with Vertov talking to us, the filmmakers, the audiences, the proprietors, the people stuck with memories and the waiters, he speaks to us saying open your eyes to whats around you, look at the sensations of cinema going threw a revolution! I think the way he says this, the way it stands out on a page, the way its written and the way he compares the the revolution to guts spilling out of a body, I just thought was so amazing! He then goes on to explain different cases where this “revolution” is occurring, giving us pure evidence and logos (logical persuasion) with the dates and facts and everything. I just think that Vertov is very smart and the way he puts these writings together is what makes them. Threw them we are allowed to get a taste of Vertov, and i absolutely loved what he was saying.

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