The Kinoks ("kino-oki," meaning cinema-eyes) were a collective of Soviet filmmakers in 1920s Russia, based most notably around film editor Dziga Vertov (pseudonym Denis Kaufman). In 1919 Vertov and his future wife, the talented film editor Elizaveta Svilova, plus several other young filmmakers created a group called Kinoks ("kino-oki," meaning cinema-eyes). In 1922 they were joined by Mikhail Kaufman, who had just returned from the civil war. From 1922 to 1923 Vertov, Kaufman, and Svilova published a number of manifestos in avant-garde journals which clarified the Kinoks' positions vis-à-vis other leftist groups.
The Kinoks rejected "staged" cinema with its stars, plots, props and studio shooting. They insisted that the cinema of the future be the cinema of fact: newsreels recording the real world, "life caught unawares." Vertov proclaimed the primacy of camera ("Kino-Eye") over the human eye. The camera lens was a machine that could be perfected infinitely to grasp the world in its entirety and organize visual chaos into a coherent, objective picture. At the same time Vertov emphasized that his Kino-Eye principle was a method of "communist" deciphering of the world. For Vertov there was no contradiction here; as a true believer he considered Marxism the only objective and scientific tool of analysis and even called a series of the 23 newsreels he directed between 1922 and 1925 Kino-Pravda, "pravda" being not only the Russian word for the truth but also the title of the official party newspaper.
The most acclaimed work is undoubtedly the seminal city symphony, Man with a Movie Camera (1927).
- https://web.archive.org/web/20070808211425/http://cours.cegep-st-jerome.qc.ca/511-411-p.l/vertov.htm |Dziga Vertov (1896-1954)
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