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With Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

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"Vertov was far more radical. Vertov entered the Soviet film debates of the early 1920s with vigorous attacks on fiction film. With his brother Mikhail Kaufman (1897-1980) as cameraman and his wife, Elizaveta Svilova (1900-1976), as coeditor, Vertov formed the Cine-Eye group. They began producing a newsreel series called Kino-Pravda, named after the official Soviet newspaper, Pravda (the term meant Cine-Truth, and was revived decades later for the French documentary film movement of the 1960s, ) More than twenty Kino-Pravda episodes were released between 1922 and 1925. In his manifestos, Vertov called for an approach to montage that was at once scientific and poetic, whose core lay in the organization of movement into a "rhythmical artistic whole." That job belonged to the film editor, who shapes the movement of the overall work by determining the "intervals," Vertov's term for the transitions from one image to another.

Soviet montage theory is an approach to understanding and creating cinema that relies heavily upon editing (montage is French for "assembly" or "editing"). It is the principal contribution of Soviet film theorists to global cinema, and …

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In many respects, Kuleshov was the most conservative theorist of the group. He admired the succinct storytelling of American films, and he discussed Montage chiefly as techniques of editing for clarity and emotional effects." Kuleshov had initially embarked upon his experiments with montage in an attempt to develop editing techniques which would link shot to shot in such a way that coherent, large-scale narrative structures could be developed, which would have a predetermined effect upon the audience. For example, in his Art of the Cinema (1929), Kuleshov argued that, initially, he and his group were primarily concerned with discovering 'how this material was organised, what the fundamental impression-making means of cinematography is.' "

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In 1920, at the end of the civil war, Eisenstein went to Moscow and joined the Proletkult Theater (short for Proletarian, or Workers' Cultural Theater). There he designed and co-directed many plays. In 1921, Eisenstein (along with his friend, Sergei Yutkevich, another future Montage film director) enrolled in a theater workshop under the supervision of Meyerhold, whom he would always consider his mentor. In 1923, Eisenstein directed his first theatrical production, Enough Simplicity in Every Wise Man. Although the play was a nineteenthcentury farce, Eisenstein staged it as a circus. The actors dressed in clown costumes and performed in the acrobatic biomechanical style, walking on a tightrope above the audience or doing handstands as they spoke their lines. Eisenstein also produced (Glumov's Diary, 1923), a short film to be shown on a screen on the stage. At the same time that this play was performed, Eisenstein gained some early experience as a film editor: along with Esfir Shub (soon to become an important maker of compilation documentaries ), he reedited a film, 's Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, for Soviet release.

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Eisenstein, Kuleshov, Pudovkin, Vertov, and the FEKS group were the principal early exponents of Soviet Montage. Other directors picked up their influences and developed the style. In particular, filmmakers working in the non-Russian republics enriched the Montage movement. Foremost among these was , the principal Ukrainian director. Dovzhenko had been in the Red Army during the civil war and served as a diplomatic administrator in Berlin in the early 1920s. There he studied art, returning to the Ukraine as a painter and cartoonist. In 1926, he suddenly switched to filmmaking and made a comedy and a spy thriller before directing his first Montage film, , in 1927. Based on obscure Ukrainian folk legends, Zvenigora baffled audiences but demonstrated an original style that emphasizes lyrical imagery above narrative. Dovzhenko went on to make two more important Montage films, and (Earth), also set in the Ukraine."


"Of all the arts, for us the cinema is the most important," Lenin stated in 1922. Since Lenin saw film as a powerful tool for education, the first films encouraged by the government were documentaries and newsreels such as Vertov's newsreel series Kino-Pravda, which began in May 1922. Fictional films were also being made from 1917 on, but it was not until 1923 that a Georgian feature, (Red Imps), became the first Soviet film to compete successfully with the foreign films predominant on Soviet screens. (And not until 1927 did the Soviet industry's income from its own films top that of the films it imported.)

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That conflict first emerged in a series of disagreements which took place between Vertov and officials within Goskino, the successor body to the Moscow Cinema Council, which had been established in 1922. These problems eventually led Vertov to leave Moscow, and work with VUFKU, the pan-Ukrainian film production unit. Here, away from the constraints of the capital, he continued to experiment with his theory of the ‘kino-eye’, and eventually made (The Eleventh Year, 1928), (The Man with the Movie Camera, 1929) and (Enthusiasm, or Symphony of the Donbas, 1931). However, Vertov continued to experience difficulties with the Soviet authorities over the avantgarde nature of his films, and his career, from 1930, until his death in 1954, was beset by such problems."