JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

copyright 2013, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media
Jump Cut
, No. 55, fall 2013

“The revolutionary founding moments of a contra-Grierson tradition”

review by Brian Winston

Joshua Malitsky, Post-Revolution Nonfiction Film: Building the Soviet and Cuban Nations (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013). 274 pages.

Post-Revolution

The parallels between Soviet and Cuban non-fiction cinemas in the immediate post-revolution period have been noted before but seldom with such comprehensiveness and insight as Josh Malitsky deploys in Post-Revolution Nonfiction Film. He is concerned with the period from 1917-1928 in Russia and from 1959-1974 in Cuba. Usually the epithet “revolutionary” is used of all the films made under the auspices of the newly-installed governments of 1917 and 1959. Malitsky, however, makes a distinction by isolating the titles, by no means all of them, that were revolutionary not only in ideology and intention but also in form. Hence Post-Revolution rather than Revolutionary film.

In fact, Malitsky makes a useful tripartite division of output during these years to see “revolutionary” film qua film as dominating only the middle phase. It is the meat (as it were) in the sandwich of “post-revolution” cinema. The ambition of governments and filmmakers throughout was to transform the citizen’s understanding of their individual roles as productive workers in the service of the revolution, but the filmmaking strategies deployed changed through time. In both countries, the films he discusses as being revolutionary in both form and content are the product of what might be called a middle, experimental, “revolutionary aesthetic phase” (1922-1927, 1965-1971). These sought a film-form that, as Malitsky sums it up, “manifested new non-fiction cinematic languages.”[1] [open endnotes in new window] This productive search followed an initial post-revolutionary “immediate realist phase” that used, for the most part, established newsreel techniques (1917-1921, 1959-1965). And it preceded a “revived realist phase” (1927-1928, 1972-1974)—in effect, a reaction to the failures of the revolutionary aesthetic as effective communication.

Although these divisions, as Malitsky admits, are somewhat “permeable,” nevertheless they do powerfully unpin the case for Soviet/Cuban parallelism. The Russian developments were echoed across the world forty-years later in Cuba. In both countries the pre-existing newsreel production capacity was harnessed to the revolution. In Cuba this involved total immediate nationalization, with the founding of ICAIC as the first cultural act of the new government. Lenin took longer: production facilities were taken over immediately, but full nationalization of distribution and exhibition waited until the foundation of Goskino in 1922. The importance of film to the state’s revolutionary agenda, however, was the same as in Cuba.

The initial newsreel norms of Kino-Nedilia, the series born of the pre-revolution production structures in 1919, are matched by a similar adherence to realist procedures in Noticiero Latinoamericano (1960-on). This gives way to the revolutionary aesthetic phase of the middle period, wherein avant-garde Soviet documentaries are echoed by the Cuban films, which consolidated the emerging international reputation of its cinema. Then reaction against this led to parallel returns in each county to realistic reportage and archival compilations. Post-Revolution Nonfiction Film convincingly lays out the argument to sustain this interpretation.

Alvarez and Cuba

The book necessarily sees Santiago Alvarez as a central figure in all these phases of the Cuban post-revolution cinema. Alvarez was a television professional (on the audio-side) at the moment of revolution and he was among the founders of ICAIC. He personally benefited from the support of Joris Ivens and Chris Marker as he retooled as a filmmaker, which he did so successfully that he was given charge of the weekly Noticiero from its inception. Some of this work, notably the newsreel roundup Ciclón/Hurricane (1963), first brought him to the attention of the outside world.

His reputation was further enhanced by his experimental search for a more revolutionary aesthetic, which was exemplified in the series of internationally acclaimed shorts he made between 1965 and 1971—Now; Hanoi, martes 13; LBJ; 79 Spring Times of Ho Chi Minh; etc. Alvarez stated,

“Cinema is not an extension of revolutionary action. Cinema is and must be revolutionary action in itself.”[2]

But, despite the foreign accolades, the films, especially LBJ (1968), came to be seen in Cuba as going a little too far. As Malitsky puts it:

“too personally, too complexly, too rapidly, too kaleidoscopically.”[3]

The collapse of the sugar harvest in 1971 and the controversial imprisonment of the poet Herberto Padilla, as well as this growing realization that such experimentation might not be having the desired effect on the citizenry, occasioned a thermidorian[4] reaction. The revolution was maturing, and in response to changing circumstances, Alvarez’s films now came to typify a third-phase return to infinitely less experimental modes. Consider the trilogy he made on Castro’s foreign visits post-1971:

Despite the zingy titles, nothing can disguise the fact that these offer only “long, static and frankly tedious reprises of Castro’s speeches.”[5]

Vertov, Shub and the USSR

Alvarez is often presented, with some justice, as a figure occupying similar ground to that dominated by Vertov in the Soviet Union four decades earlier. Malitsky’s tripartite division, though, highlights Vertov’s virtual disappearance during the third phase, after his experimentalism occasioned his dismissal from Goskino. This does not mean that, for Malitsky, the parallel breaks down. Instead, and most welcomely, he suggests that Alvarez’s role in turning away from avant-garde excess was played in the USSR by Esfir Shub. His pattern thus holds good.

This is not to deny Vertov’s dominance during the experimental phase. Like Alvarez, in the first moments of revolution Vertov had found work in the newsreel, learning his trade in the Kino-Nedilia offices. As that series ran down in 1919, he emerged as a skilled newsreel director. In Red Star (1919), he documented the voyage of the Red Star Literary-Instructional Steamer of the Central Committee down the Volga. Subsequently there was parallel film-work in connection with the Agit-Train mobile cinema initiative (Agit-Train of the Central Committee) as well as coverage of the civil war. By 1922, Vertov was ready to take the next step into more complex revolutionary experiments.

He had formulated the concept of the “kino-eye” person, the revolutionary “kinok’:

“WE proclaim the old films based on the romance theatrical films and the like to be leprous.

Keep away from them!
Keep your eyes off them!
They’re mortally dangerous!
Contagious.

WE affirm the future of cinema art by denying its present.”[6]

Vertov then used “deployments” in his nonfiction films techniques that Alvarez was also to use at the same post-revolutionary moment:

“rapid montage, photographic trickery, expressive titling and complex structuration.”

The “kino-eye” embraced the work of filmmaking itself with, for the first time, shots of Vertov’s wife, Elizaveta Svilova, at work in the cutting room. Deconstructions—fast and slow motion, super-impositions, split-screens, extreme close-ups—did indeed penetrate surface reality in the name of revolution.[7] The work of bread-making, for example, is marvelously conveyed by simple dint of reversing the process so that the sequence concludes with the laborious replacement of the wheat-stalks in the ground. For the Lumières, reassembling a wall by reversing the film they took of its demolition was only a trick. For Vertov, such tricks meant defamiliarization—ostranenei—in order to explain “the bourgeois structure of the world to the workers.”[8] As with Alvarez, “communicating revolution experience” could not be achieved without such experiments.[9] This, though, is not to make a “great man” point. Alvarez told Michael Chanan that he didn’t know Vertov’s work but he assumed that Vertov had adopted the same filmmaking agenda because the political situation demanded the same response.[10]

In Russia, the return to the norms of realism can be marked by Vertov’s sacking from Goskino in 1926 and the release of Esfir Shub’s pioneering historical compilation Fall of the House of Romanov in 1927. Vertov was in trouble by 1926: Stride, Soviet (aka Forward, Soviet) indicates why. One sequence documents an election rally in terms of machines, e.g. “attentive automobiles,”[11] which are seen apparently “listening” and responding to each other. No citizens. No politicians. The commissars were not best pleased. Nor did the exhortative mode of A Sixth Part of the World, made in the same year, address the brief, which was to sell Russian products to the world (c.f. the British Empire Marketing Board’s ambition a few years later to use film to sell colonial products in the UK). Moreover, the intellectuals of the LEF groupwere also largely unimpressed. Viktor Shlovsky, for example, was to attack A Sixth Part of the World claiming Vertov had filmed objects as a “curiosity, an anecdote, and not as a fact.”[12] More than all this, from Goskino’s point-of-view, Vertov never produced a full scenario—nor much of a plan. It was no surprise he went over budget on A Sixth Part… his fate as a Moscow filmmaker was sealed.

It is much to Malitsky’s credit to here bring in Esfir Shub, as the dominant figure in the short third post-revolution phase of 1927-1928. University-educated and a figure in Moscow’s avant-garde circles, she had been Myerhold’s private secretary. She joined Goskino in 1922 to re-edit imported foreign films for the Soviet audience. By the time of Vertov’s dismissal, newsreel production had fallen by 66%[13], but Shub was already at work in the archive engineering the return of accessible realism. Instead of the previously discussed Vertov/Alvarez binary, Malitisky therefore presents us with a triad: Alvarez is balanced by Vertov and Shub. This goes beyond recognizing Shub as a species of outlier: the pioneer of the compilation film. Without prejudice to the fecundity of this innovation for the documentary cinema in general, Malitsky places her compilation trilogy of these years—The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty, The Great War and The Russia of Nicolas II and Lev Tolstoy—as exemplifying the post-revolution’s third-phase.

The LEF circle underpinned with theory the reaction against experimentation which Shub’s turn to a less effervescent “more realistic” cinema hailed. This was expressed in the concept of “factography,” with its idea of made—rather than the discovered—facts. Shub was deemed to produce “facts” with her planned approach to found archival footage. The result of her work was a “protokol” (report) whereas a Vertov film was a “proklamatsiia” (proclamation). Sergei Tret’iakov, in particular, held that Shub’s was a far more effective procedure than Vertov’s.[14] She did not, as he did, “betray the document.”[15]

Malitsky does not avoid the problematics of the LEF attack on Vertov, but how he deals with this is perhaps is the weakest spot in his argument overall. “Factography” can be seen as suggesting a somewhat insouciant view of the integrity of the photographic image, but Malistky’s response is to suggest that the Peircean concept of “indexicality” offers a key to understanding it. The concept of “indexicality,” however, is itself somewhat overburdened by the simplifications and misunderstanding which have in general conditioned the reception of Peirce into cinema studies. “Indexicality” is anyway somewhat beside point in that the usual use of Peirce, as here, ignores the necessary work of interpretation that all viewers must bring to the image. What, in fact, is the status of the referent in Tret’iakov’s vision of constructed film “facts”? In this sense, the LEF position on “made” image-facts presages, in some way, the Braudrillardian vision of the simulacra. Yet, as Nichols puts it, nonfiction imaging demands that

“the historical referent … cuts through the inoculating power of signifying systems.”[16]

How audiences decode what they see and how they understand the integrity of the image vis-à-vis the referent is, of course, crucial. And it is what Vertov tackles head on and LEF thinking sidesteps.

It is a real plus, though, that Malitsky accords Shub the attention she has long deserved; but this should not be at the expense of Vertov and the “unplayed” film. The LEF criticism of Vertov needs to be better addressed. After all, Shub herself was under no illusions as to the referential integrity of the images with which she worked. In her autobiography she wrote:

“The intention was not so much to provide the facts but to evaluate them from the vantage point of the revolutionary class.”[17]

Is not this precisely Vertov’s intention in the previous phases? Be that as it may, the LEF circle’s critique of Vertov does not affect the validity of Maltisky’s periodization. What is perhaps more telling (but equally immaterial to Malitsky’s schema) is that, by any measure, Shub’s trilogy is superior to Alvarez’s recording of Castro’s speeches.

So, overall, Malitsky’s dissection of the Russian and Cuban post-revolution non-fiction cinema is persuasive and valuable.

Nonfiction

But what of the term “non-fiction’?

Just as he avoids “revolutionary” in his title in favor of “post-revolution,” Malitsky eschews “documentary” in favor of “nonfiction”—and with equally good reason. His three-part temporal division of post-revolutionary nonfiction film in both countries replaces the usual binary divide between documentary and newsreel. For him, Vertov, Alvarez and Shub are not documentarists per se as much as nonfiction filmmakers for whom the documentary/newsreel divide mattered little and is of limited use in understanding them.

I would want to go further and suggest the distinctions commonly drawn between newsreel and documentaries are pretty superficial given the common claim on the real. Both newsreel and documentary scholarship has paid insufficient attention to the reality of what constitutes “news” in the culture. For all that news is popularly and professionally defined as being objectively reflexive, truthful and timely, these attributes are more in the nature of branding devices to sell the news product than a description of what is being delivered. Objectivity in news media is obviously more a matter of ideological obfuscation than a guarantee of truth. It is, anyway, not required of the publication of opinion. And with reporting, objectivity—however defined—is as much about ambition as accomplishment. It cannot characterize journalism’s constant interferences with reality from interviews to investigations to, say, the base of the Statue of Liberty (built with money raised by a campaign in Pulitzer’s [New York] World). As for truth itself, let’s not forget that the news-book reporting the appearance of a dragon in the skies over Paris in 1567 sold itself as being “veritable” and news-processors have been trading under the same kite-mark ever since. And as for timeliness, this too is more a function of competition and technology than anything intrinsic to the concept “news.” Something is “news” whenever you hear about it for the first time, after all. “Late intelligences” are rarer now than once they were, but even today, despite the hype, instantaneity does not characterize the entire contents of the news media. None of this, however, much informs the concept of news in play in newsreel scholarship. In consequence the distinction between the reels and documentaries is, shall we say, befuddled.

There is a hint of this in Post-Revolution Nonfiction film when Malitsky reports debates in Cuba which denied the newsreels were news—and when he reminds us:

“None of the distinctions now familiar to producers and viewers of documentaries were in place at the time Vertov began to make films.”[18]

So, without prejudice to the fact that these “familiar” “distinctions” scarce hold up, Malitsky more specifically rejects that received opinion which sees the newsreel work of Vertov and Alvarez as being merely a preparation for their documentaries. This is a needed corrective.

It corrects the marginalization of the advances these filmmakers made with the newsreel form itself. For example, I am in John Mackay’s debt for drawing attention to the riches of the undeservedly ignored 57 issues of Vertov’s Goskino Kalandar/State Kino Calendar series. Although more constrained than Kino-Pravda with its time-reverses, etc., this series too exhibits considerable sophistication. Compare the average newsreel of the time in the West: a typical Topical Budget story, say, produced in 1922, the first year of the Kalandar, covering a British Royal Wedding. This essays nothing more than limited pans, fails to produce any close-ups and is replete with intertitles, almost between every shot.[19] By contrast, with Kalandar, Vertov was already exploring a range of possibilities: dissolves instead of cuts, a full range of angles and changing points of view, masking and rhythmic cutting and eschewing of the titles that were so flamboyantly a part of Kino-Pravda.[20] And, with Kino-Pravda, special effects, dynamic intertitles and shots of the film-editor apart, he also consciously expanded the newsreels” scope and tone. This is especially true of the subtitled issues: e.g.,

Similarly with Alvarez’s newsreel work such refinements can be found, especially, again, in the special editions. As Malitsky points out, Ciclón, one of the films that made Alvarez’s reputation, winning him his first Golden Dove award at Leipzig, is far from straightforward. The elements—reportage of the storm on the ground, aerial footage, animated graphics of its progress, archival materials—are all untoward; but Alvarez adds a few techniques unexpected in a newsreel. These include freeze frames, rhythmic editing and a carefully structured sound-track diametrically opposed to the newsreel traditions of wall-to-wall music. Overall, the materials are made to carry far greater weight than their content would suggest. Because of his choices and editing, the revolutionary messages is embedded: Fidel and the leadership are seen to be

“above the landscape, above the storm, and part of the heavens, but at the same time on the ground, in the muck, and with the people…. This metonymic relationship articulates the film’s address to a united collectivity in the throws of a national experience.”[21]

It is received opinion that the documentaries of the second period of experimentation reveal in these filmmakers what Malitsky calls “a reflexive awareness of their own discursive authority.”[22] But is it not also the case that—at least to a certain extent—this can be seen running through their parallel newsreel work as well? The question is one of judgment—is there enough of experimentation in the newsreels to support a reevaluation of them so that they are seen as more than just a seedbed for the documentaries? Current work such as this book and John Mackay’s research suggest that there is. The thought that there was a “Vertov before Vertov” or an Alvarez before Alvarez is harder to hold onto the more the newsreel archives are explored—especially the double and/or subtitled editions.

What cannot be gainsaid, though, is these newsreels vigorously rebut John Grierson’s critique of their commercial opposites in the west: “actualities” which in his words exhibit nothing but “purely journalistic skills”—“just a speedy snip-snap.”[23] Grierson’s easy dismissal of the commercial reels is largely spurious—they were not, for the most part, produced by journalistic organizations but by the film industry. Their “series of catastrophes ended by a fashion show” format had little journalism about it. The slowness of their appearance ensured the staleness of the stories they ran, even as features. And the static conservatism of their style could scarcely be described as “speedy snip-snap.” Anyway, as was clear at the time, the commercial Western newsreel’s

“object is not to present news, but to breed a race of society gossipers, sport-maniacs, lickspittles and jingoes.”[24]

The use of the element “news” in the title “newreel” is, as was the use of “veritable” in a 16th century candard, as much a branding device as a descriptor.

Nevertheless Grierson’s assertion, however ill-grounded, underpins the newsreel/documentary divide in Anglophone thinking. It should not be forgotten, though, that Grierson’s motivation in insisting on a distinction between his documentary project and the commercial newsreels was more a question of money than anything else. Grierson needed to convince his funding prospects in government and commerce that his was a unique enterprise when, at the level of the claim being made on the real, it was of a piece with a variety of other nonfiction genres—“interests,” “travelogues,” “nature films”—as well as newsreels. All these but newsreels were to be subsumed into documentary. It is time, in my view, to interrogate the value of continuing to leave newsreels out. Be that as it may, that is not part of Malitsky’s agenda. By insisting on the importance of the newsreel work of these filmmakers, though, he assembles valuable evidence as to why this issue must be addressed.

Building the Soviet and Cuban nations

This leaves Maltisky’s subtitle which addresses the underlying purpose behind all the films he discusses: Building the Soviet and Cuban Nations. The leaders of the revolutions of 1917 and 1959, Malitsky states, saw nonfiction

“as a form uniquely capable of aiding the effort to shape the new man and to unify, edify, and modernize the citizenry as a whole.”[25]

In the light of this, the films are necessarily to be seen as persuasive communication —“propaganda” in the initial meaning of the word.

Malitsky’s take on propaganda is to turn the concept of the “social imaginary” as a key. As described by Charles Taylor, this is in essence, “the ways people imagine their social existence” which collectively determine “the repertory of collective action.”[26] These exist as understandings and are made virtual through representations—and so the cinema comes to be a key facilitator of them. Its most important overarching task then is “constructing a new coherent and communicable idea of the nation.”[27] In effect they were attempting to prefigure Benedict Anderson’s modernist concept of the nation as an “imagined political community,” one that is both stable but promotes change. Nonfiction film’s further post-revolutionary task was also to facilitate the coming of “ideology to consciousness.”[28] (This, it can be noted, is an objective directly in contrast to the underlying purpose of “ineffable” bourgeois ideology as described Barthes.[29])

It is, of course, sterile to assess the effectiveness of the films in fulfilling these purposes. I think it is valid to ask about impact as an aspect of documentary ethics when confronting the shibboleths (“giving voice,” “free speech,” etc.) trotted out by Western mainstream documentarists to justify their misfeasances—invasions of privacy, misrepresentations, exploitation, and so on. It is another matter to attempt to assess the impact of such a fundamental attempt at the engineering of souls on such a scale. Certainly at the time, the experimentations of the second phase were seen as failing to provide a “coherent and communicable idea of the nation.” And, certainly, the judgment of history has been harsh: the USSR is no more, and with Cuba the jury must be seen as still being out. So did the films “build” the nation as was their intention? Perhaps the best that can be said is to repeat the Mao Zedong’s (or was it Zhou En-Lai?) comment on the French Revolution (of 1789 or, maybe, 1968): “It’s far too early to tell.”

What is far clearer is the impact on cinema, on documentary. Vertov survived dismissal from Goskino and went to work for the All-Ukrainian Photo-Ciné Directorate (VUKFU) in Kiev where in 1929 he made Man with a Movie-Camera. His filmography does not then cease, any more than does Alvarez’s, who continued to produce films until his death in Havana, aged 79, in 1998. Vertov was prevented from being so prolific although important titles, especially those experimenting with sound, continued to appear. After World War II, though, this ceased as he worked, as did his wife Elizaveta Svilova, more or less anonymously on the daily newsreel Novosti Dyna—on assignments from Esfir Shub, its editor-in-chief.[30] Marina Goldovskaya, who grew-up in the same Moscow apartment block remembered that:

“[Vertov] used to sit on a bench near our entryway, always leaning on a walking stick, always gloomy and reserved. He seemed hopelessly ancient to me.”[31]

He was not, though. He died of untreated cancer, aged 58, in 1954.[32]

Our understanding of Vertov’s importance and, indeed, of the post-revolution nonfiction film in general for the documentary has been, to say the least, slow to develop. While Alvarez’s position as a major cinematic voice was established immediately in the 1960s, Vertov was less fortunate. Decades of neglect and dismissal persisted beyond his death. He was best seen, as Annette Michelson suggested in her introduction to Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov, not as the Lenin of the cinema but its Trotsky.[33] But it would now seem that it was perhaps “too soon” for such an epitaph. Since 1960, there has been a slow absorbtion of the lessons of post-revolution nonfiction cinema. This is not merely a matter of Kino-Pravda’s rebirth as Cinéma vérité. Rather it is that the entire effort has demonstrated the possibility of an alternative to the Griersonian hegemony. My copy of Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov is inscribed:

“These [are the] documents of the revolutionary founding moment of a contra-Grierson tradition.”

And, this is, of course, equally the case with the films. It is ever clearer that Annette Michelson, who wrote these words to me (as well the introduction just cited), here spoke nothing but the truth. Josh Maltisky’s Post-Revolutionary Nonfiction Film: Building the Soviet and Cuban Nations further fleshes out the correctness of her claim. Here indeed is the alternative to Grierson, the signposts back to documentary’s radical roots and forward to the present heterogeneity of its forms.

Notes

1. Malitsky (2013) p. 30. [return to text]

2. qt in Chanan, Michael(2004) Cuban Cinema. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 227.

3. Malisky (2013) p. 191.

4. Malitsky (2013) p. 30.

5. John Mraz, (1990): quoted by Malitsky (2013), p. 203.

6. Vertov, Dziga (1922) “WE: Varient of a Manifesto,” Kino Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. (1984) (Kevin O’Brien, trans.) Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 7.

7. Malitsky (2013), p. 100.

8. qt in Chanan, Michael(2004) Cuban Cinema. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 227.

9. Mailitsky (2013), p. 30.

10. Chanan, Michael (2004) Cuban Cinema. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 30.

11. Malitsky (2013), pp. 156-7.

12. qt in Malitsky (2013), p. 184.

13. Mailitsky (2013), p. 156.

14. Malistsky (2013), p. 164.

15. Yampolsky, Mikhail (1991), “Reality at Second Hand,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 11:2, p. 161.

16. Nichols, Bill (1994) Blurred Boundaries. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. p. 94.

17. Petric, Vlada (1984), “Esther Shub: Film as a Historical Discourse,” in ‘Show Us Life’: Toward a History and Aesthetics of Committed Documentary (Thomas Waugh, (ed.). Metuchen, The Scarecrow Press. p. 24.

18. Mailsky (2013), p.122.

19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjjGV5_4LkQ [accessed 20 July 2013]

20. I am grateful to John Mackay for his contribution at Goskino Kalandar to the initial meeting of the European Newsreel Network in the University of Lund, Sweden (21/22 May, 2013) and for sharing the unpublished paper he gave there with me.

21. Malitsky (2013), p. 85.

22. Malitsky (2013), p. 24.

23. Grierson, John (1979), Grierson on Documentary (Forsyth Hardy, ed.). London: Faber. pp. 35f. and 73f.).

24. qt. in Macpherson, Don (1980) (ed. in collaboration with Paul Willemen), Traditions of Independence. London: BFI. p.133.

25. Malitsky (2013), p. 3.

26. Taylor, Charles (2004) Modern Social Imaginaries. Durham, NC: Duke UP,23, 167): cited, Malitsky (2013), p. 11.

27. Malitsky (2013), p. 13.

28. Malitsky (2013), p. 17.

29. Barthes, Roland (1973), Mythologies(A. Lavers, trans.). London: Paladin. p. 250

30. For example, both pioneered documentary sync, as far as we currently know, before the West: Shub’s K-SH-E (Komsomol: Pioneer of Electrification) 1932 and Vertov’s Three Songs of Lenin 1934.

31. Goldoskaya, Marina (2006) Woman with a Movie Camera. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. p. 24.

32. Shub died in Moscow in 1959; Svilova lived till 1975 and also died in Moscow.

33. Michelson, Annette (1984) “Introduction,” Kino Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. (Kevin O’Brien, trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press. p. lxi.


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