Monday, July 26, 2010

Dziga Vertov

Dziga Vertov's 1930 propaganda documentary, Enthusiasm (Энтузиазм), is subtitled "Simfoniya Donbassa," or symphony for the Don (River) Basin. The film begins with a cinematic embrace of the Soviet view against organized religion. Vertov documents the cheerful toppling of several church steeples and also pokes fun at people in churches making the sign of the cross by juxtaposing them with booze-swilling drunks (top still). The rest of the movie showcases monumental imagery of machinery, mines, and factories along with some heroic shots of Soviet workers, staged and unstaged. An unusual soundtrack contains both music (some by Dmitri Shostakovich) and decades-ahead-of-its-time collage of location sound with "found" audio.
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.