Monday, January 29, 2007

The reversal of time in Vertov's "Kinoglaz"

Excellent job on posting thoughtful and perceptive response essays and feedback on Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera. Many of you brought up Vertov's self-reflexivity in the film--that is, the way he makes cinema itself the subject of his film. This is a really helpful way to connect the form of a text with its content. In other words, keep up the good work you've done with Vertov in discussing not only what a text says but through what formal techniques it articulates its messages.

For those of you who are curious about Dziga Vertov's larger body of work, you might want to watch the ~1-hour-long film Kinoglaz ("Kino-Eye"), which is quite a bit more overt than Man with a Movie Camera about celebrating communism. It is available here on Google video:

In particular, check out the clip from 10:58 to 12:50, where Vertov shows the process of slaughtering a cow in reverse, so the cows entrails seem to leap back into its body, its skin gets draped back around it, and it comes back to life. Also, from 32:14 - 36:42, Vertov shows a clock moving backwards and then the entire process of breadmaking in reverse. It starts from a complete loaf of bread and then moves backwards so that the bread unbakes, turns back into dough, and then back into flour. Cinema as time machine!



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