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Unformatted text preview: Worksheet 11 - Film History Professor Rohdie (UCF) Dziga Vertov: Part One introduction An important characteristic of the artistic avant-garde and the various modernist artistic movements in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the manifesto . Throughout the period up until perhaps just after the Second World War, that is, for more than a half century, there were intense debates between artists and between critics concerning what constituted the correct and most productive path for the arts, in e ect, what art was. These debates re ected a crisis in the consideration of the arts and raised questions concern- ing talent, inventiveness, social responsibility, the new, the beautiful and the signi cant. The various isms that emerged during this period are a re ection in part of this crisis, a sign of a multiplicity of directions and impulses almost unknown before the nineteenth century: Im- pressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Dada, Suprematism, Constructivism, Formalism, Modernism and today, Post-Modernism. The positions were not merely descriptive but also, in most instances, prescriptive (Post-Modernism is the exception). The manifestos were programmatic (what art should be), and therefore critical (what art should not be) and therefore historical (what art was in the present and had been in the past). Each movement tended to supplant and reject the others. The manifesto was a po- lemic (for a certain art, against another art, each claiming to be more revolutionary, more in- novative or more ‘realistic’, a term that became increasingly problematic and remains so) and philosophical (what is art?). Every work then, say of the Cubists, or of Russian and later Soviet artists, were explicitly or by implication (debates raged) statements about art and whatever else the art work was it was necessarily also a discourse, and every art work made entered into an area of philosophical-aesthetic commentary. The critical-philosophical dimension and the polemical one were each aspects of the other and similar undertakings. For example, bringing the matter closer to the present, Jean-Luc Godard’s statement that writing about lm was no di erent than making lm (criticism as lm-making) and that the reverse was also true ( lm-making as criticism). Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929), is a manifesto lm about what the cinema should be while at the same time it posed the questions “What is the cinema?” and “What is this lm?”, and answered them: “The true, pure cinema is this lm.” “This is the direction lm must take.” “This is the di- rect path.” Vertov’s lm was a manifesto on behalf of what it did as well as being directed against other kinds of lm and practices, what other’s did, that is, the Man with a Movie Cam- era , presented itself as the essence of cinema and of the speci cally cinematic untainted by literature or theatre. Godard’s...
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course FIL 3036 taught by Professor Rohdie during the Fall '09 term at University of Central Florida.
- Fall '09