I guess we’re far enough away from the Cold War that a socialist can make a serious for the presidency—and for the art that was produced in the early decades of the Soviet Union to be appreciated in the United States.
Yesterday, Kristin M. Jones reviewed the Jewish Museum’s exhibit “The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film” for the Wall Street Journal.
In Dziga Vertov’s exuberant “Man With a Movie Camera” (1929), the camera dances, spins and materializes on rooftops, before an oncoming train and even on stage. Combining electrifying editing, naturalistic scenes and trick photography, the film evokes 24 hours of Soviet urban life, beginning with humans and machines awakening at daylight. Vertov envisioned an all-seeing “cinema eye—more perfect than a human eye for purposes of research into the chaos of visual phenomena filling the universe.” Filmmakers explored various aesthetic approaches during the era, but it was a period of startling cinematic invention.
And, of course, that same startling artistic invention can be seen in the original poster for the film (created by the Sternberg brothers).