Dziga Vertov

(redirected from Denis Arkadievich Kaufman)
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Dziga Vertov
David Abelevich Kaufman
Birthday
BirthplaceBiałystok, Russian Empire (now Poland)
Died
NationalitySoviet
Occupation
Film director, cinema theorist

Vertov, Dziga

 

(pseudonym of Denis Arkad’evich Kaufman). Born Dec. 21, 1895 (Jan. 2, 1896), in Belostok; died Feb. 12, 1954, in Moscow. Soviet film director and documentary film maker; one of the founders of documentary film making in the Soviet Union and the world.

During the first years of Soviet power, Vertov worked in the newsreel department of the Moscow Film Committee. He directed the work of photographers-reporters and, using material from the Civil War, made the films Anniversary of the Revolution (1919), The Agitation and Propaganda Train of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (1921), and History of the Civil War (1922). Vertov founded the thematic newsreel series Kino-pravda (1922-25), in which he developed new newsreel filming techniques and for the first time applied principles of montage juxtaposition to documentaries. His best Kino-pravda effort was the production of The Lenin Kino-Pravda (no. 21).

Vertov published a number of theoretical articles and manifestos in which he explained the theoretical basis of his Kino-Eye method.

His main contribution was his innovative development of the documentary film as a pictorial social commentary. In the film Forward, Soviet! (1926), he used the techniques of montage juxtaposition to help create a documentary picture of Moscow when the city was recovering from ruin and famine. In One-sixth of the World (1926), he presented a poetic image of the Soviet motherland. In Enthusiasm (Donbas Symphony), his first talking movie (1930), Vertov used both visual and audio means to develop the theme of socialist construction. His film Three Songs About Lenin (1934) is the best work done in the Soviet pictorial social commentary film medium.

Vertov’s creative and theoretical legacy has had a major influence on the development of Soviet and foreign documentary films. He was awarded various medals and the Order of the Red Star.

WORKS

Stat’i, dnevniki, zamysly. Moscow, 1966.

REFERENCE

Abramov, N. P. Dziga Vertov. Moscow, 1962. (See bibliography and listing of films.)

N. P. ABRAMOV