IDFA – Dziga Vertov

Skrevet den 27-09-2018 10:26:07 af Tue Steen Müller

IDFA – Dziga Vertov

 A mail arrived from IDFA announcing quite a film historical event as part of the festival: “You are cordially invited to the IDFA 2018 world premiere of Dziga Vertov's recently found and restored film, The Anniversary of the RevolutionPossibly the first feature-length documentary film ever made, The Anniversary of the Revolution screens November 20th in Tuschinski 1.” And about the film it goes like this:

The Anniversary of the Revolution was made by pioneering filmmaker Dziga Vertov (1896-1954) between early 1917 and 1918. Filming the developments surrounding the Russian Revolutions of February and October 1918, and the following civil war, Vertov documented events and protagonists that would change history. Using his own footage and occasionally the material of a few others, Vertov assembled his chronological account of the historical year into a two-hour film in 1918, making The Anniversary of the Revolution possibly the first feature-length documentary film ever made... to be continued

Consequently, inter-titles were added between scenes, explaining the political context, presenting the portrayed politicians, and manifesting a young Vertov’s revolutionary discourse. In this sense, The Anniversary of the Revolution presents us also with the earliest known use of documentary film as a tool for propaganda. 

Initially screened in 1918, the film was shown in various settings, traveled with Vertov on his agit-train trips with Mihail Kalinin around the country, and was screened in train stations until 1921, as per his memoirs. For reasons still unclear and open to interpretation and analysis, the film was lost after that. Scenes from the film were used in other films, by Vertov himself and others, as well as in propaganda reels during the early days of the Soviet era, but The Anniversary of the Revolution was never screened in full to an international audience until this year at IDFA.

The Anniversary of the Revolution was recently restored based on a listing of all scenes in the film, discovered by film scholar Svetlana Ishevskaia in the course of her research in Russian archives. Film historian Nikolai Izvolov spent several months thoroughly investigating film archives to find fragments of Vertov’s film and to demonstrate their authenticity. The virtually complete restoration project of the film was carried out at, and with the support of, the Russian State Documentary Film and Photo Archive at Krasnogorsk. 

Presented as part of IDFA on Stage, the special screening of The Anniversary of the Revolution at IDFA will include a unique live music component. For this celebratory event, an outstanding group of Russian musicians is preparing a performance that also respects the silent nature of the film. In addition to the screening on November 20th at Theater Tuschinski 1, an extended program of artistic interventions, debates and discussions on Vertov and his film, and questions on restoration and preservation of documentary film heritage will be one of the highlights of IDFA 2018.

Tilføjet i kategorierne: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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