Mikhail Kaufman

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This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Abramovich and the family name is Kaufman.
Mikhail Abramovich Kaufman
Mikhail kaufman.jpg
Mikhail Kaufman with his camera
Born 1897
Białystok, Grodno Governorate, Russian Empire
Died March 11, 1980 (aged 82–83)
Moscow, Russian SFSR
Occupation Cinematographer
Relatives Dziga Vertov
Boris Kaufman
Shooting from train

Mikhail Abramovich Kaufman (Russian: Михаи́л Абра́мович Ка́уфман; 1897 – March 11, 1980) was a Russian cinematographer and photographer. He was the younger brother of filmmaker Dziga Vertov (Denis Kaufman) and the older brother of cinematographer Boris Kaufman.[1]

He was born into a family of Jewish intellectuals living in Białystok in Grodno Governorate, at the time when the Białystok region was a part of the Russian Empire.

In 1920s, after Mikhail Kaufman returned from Russian Civil War, Vertov offered him to participate in his newsreel series Kino-Pravda as a cameraman.

Mikhail Kaufman directed photography for several films, including the 1929 Man with the Movie Camera. The film is built around meta-reference and is full of innovative visual effects: in it, Kaufman acts as a cameraman and is seen shooting the film while walking on high bridges, hanging off the side of a train, climbing a smokestack and crawling underground with miners – all in order to get the best shot. His brother's wife, Yelizaveta Svilova, was editor and part of the "Council of Three" who "proclaimed a 'death sentence' on the cinema that came before, faulting it for mixing in 'foreign matter' from theater and literature."[2]

Mikhail Kaufman also directed two films: "Moscow" (1927) and "In Spring" (1929). Shortly after the filming of Man with the Movie Camera, Kaufman and Vertov fell out over artistic differences. The two would never work together again.

Kaufman died in Moscow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Petric, Vlada. Constructivism in Film: The Man with a Movie Camera. NY: Cambridge UP, 1987.
  2. ^ Lim, Dennis (April 8, 2011). Machine Age Poet, Born in Revolution, Stifled Under Stalin. The New York Times

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