Socialist Cinema Video

Dziga Vertov: Kino-Eye (1924)
Description: This segment from a Kino-Eye of 1924 embodies both sides of Vertov’s aesthetic, both the stern and politically-attuned educator, who shows his spectators exemplary Soviet citizens, and the playful experimenter probing the limits of the movie camera, whether by turning it backwards, or by developing its own narrative logic.

Lev Kuleshov: Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924)
Description: Lev Kuleshov scored one of Soviet cinema’s first successes with this story about a straightlaced American who comes to Soviet Russia and is disabused of his prejudices about the socialist state. Kuleshov, inventor of many of the action techniques that would become the hallmark of early Soviet cinema, uses all the tricks in his wizard’s bag on this chase through Moscow.

Sergei Eizenshtein: Strike (1925)
Description: The first of Eizenshtein’s famous films, Strike, dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of the 1905 Revolution, first showcased his talent for harnessing vivid action for ideological effect. Audiences responded to the pathos of workers routed in the face of firehoses, which Eizenshtein intended to create a new wave of revolutionary fervor.

Maiakovskii Reads (1924)
Description: Kinozhurnal no. 1. A ceremonial meeting in the Bolshoi Theater. Vladimir Maiakovskii reads his “Flying Proletariat”. In the presidium: Frunze, Budennyi, Unshlikht, Maiakovskii and others.

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