city montage. moscow. vertov.


the kino-eye. our montage goes through a whole series of stages. it begins with observations on a definite theme. this theme includes a given number of phenomena in a given place. and this first editing is done with nothing in hand, but your conception, your theme. during reconnaissance you examine your ideas and choose what’s most valuable and interesting from everything you’ve seen. the second stage of editing is when you arrive on location with a movie camera. you now approach your surroundings, not from the viewpoint of the human eye, but from that of the kino-eye, and you make the first adjustment with regard to what you first saw. you make the second adjustment, taking into account all the changes that have occurred at the location you’ve selected. when all the footage has been shot, you then make a third adjustment, choosing the shots that are most expedient, that best express your theme. after this you reach the fourth stage – the organization of the footage selected. the filmed pieces are combined according to linkage of meaning. you try to make the linkage of meaning coincide with that of images. the rest is eliminated. (99-100) kino-eye

this acknowledges that the outcome is multi-dimentional. something is created that is beyond the narrative of the action and as spectator/audience we are placed both within and without the frame in a form of joycean dislocation. it encompasses an awareness of what always in life, lies beyond the narrative and is discontinuous with it.

with joyce this is conceived in terms of language itself. with vertov with the apparatus of the cine-camera and its eye. what for joyce is captured and described through language is itself described and incorporated into that narrative and exposed to the reader. vertov in the same way shows to the audience, not only the theme of the action but also the camera filming that action and the editing of the edited cuts. all is exposed before the eye of spectator/audience.

so as with constructive montage the outcome is not determinate. it is left open to ambiguity and re-incorporation.