Friday, July 31, 2015

The Man Behind Man With a Movie Camera

Yelizaveta Svilova was busy organising footage in her office at a Moscow newsreel agency one afternoon when a colleague rushed over to her and said “Your director is jumping from the second floor window.” When she followed him outside she found her future collaborator and husband Dziga Vertov standing on the terrace, his brother Mikhail Kaufman standing below with a camera ready to capture whatever was about to happen. Vertov jumped and landed with a huge burst of laughter. When Svilova asked him what on earth he was doing, he replied, “I want to see life the way it is. When I jumped I was afraid, when I landed safely I was glad.” The trio later reconvened to study the footage that Kaufman had captured, and Svilova recalled this as a defining moment for her: “I realised when I looked at the material that it brought something new to film.”

Read the rest of my article on Mostly Film