Vertov, Dziga

Vertov, Dziga, 1896–1954, Soviet filmmaker, pseudonym of Denis Kaufman. Vertov introduced the idea of “Kino-Pravda” (or cinéma vérité), which was extremely influential worldwide, affecting cinematic realism and the development of the documentary film in the 1920s and thereafter. Also important was his concept of “Kino-Eye,” which argues for the superiority and possibilities for improvement of the camera's lens as opposed to the human eye. He began making newsreels documenting the Russian civil war in 1918. His masterpiece, Man with a Movie Camera (1929), ia a silent feature-length documentary without titles. His other films include Stride, Soviet (1926), The Eleventh Year (1928), and, with sound, Enthusiasm (1931) and Lullaby (1937). Although Vertov was a committed communist, he fell out of favor during Stalin's rule. Interest in Vertov revived in the 1960s, when he particularly influenced the work of Jean-Luc Godard, and again in the early 21st cent.

See A. Michelson, ed., Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov (1985); studies by Y. Tsivian (2005), J. Hicks (2007), and P. Ahwesh and K. Sanborn, ed. (2008).

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