Montage and Identity in Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Professor John MacKay, of Yale University, will be giving a talk on Vertov’s groundbreaking film, Man with a Movie Camera (1929), on Thursday, September 27th, at 5 pm in Washington 201. Here is a brief description of what his talk will be about:
This talk will closely examine both the montage construction of Man with a Movie Camera and the film's representation of women in light of a central ideological tension characteristic of early Soviet Marxism: specifically, between conceiving of subjectivity in terms of distinct and recognizable categories (such as class, gender, and ethnicity), and conceiving of subjectivity in terms of dynamics (of economic production and consumption, in particular) that bind everyone together. It will argue that the identity called "proletarian" was valorized by artists like Vertov, and that Man with a Movie Camera attempts, on a figurative level, to link the work of non-proletarians like filmmakers to proletarian labor, and especially that of industrial workers, in part through minutely organized montage that mimics machine rhythms.