The presentation will be preceded by an intro from the Chicago Film Society.

Thursday, April 7 at 7:00pm | Presented in partnership with the Chicago Film Society

The documentary collective of director Dziga Vertov, his wife and editor Yelizaveta Svilova, and his brother and cinematographer Mikhail Kaufman produced some of the most innovative experiments of Ukrainian silent cinema, culminating in MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (1929). An acrimonious split during the post-production of that film left Kaufman charting his own path, and the result was IN SPRING, a monumental fresco of life in Kyiv keyed to the changing of the seasons. (The self-reflexive aspects of MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA are almost entirely suppressed, though Kaufman delivers a parade of kolkhoz kittens and puppies that more than make up for their loss.) Devoid of intertitles, IN SPRING literally examines life from the ground up, spiraling out from the soil itself to the modern machines used to cultivate it and the society it sustains. For the film historian Georges Sadoul, the film “made us discover a completely new form of documentary cinema, a cine-poem, where the lyrical theme of thaw and swelling buds conveyed the pathos of the advancement of the USSR towards building socialism without concealing the still existing remnants of the past.” As in the best Soviet-era films, the clamor and color of daily life are marshaled to illustrate Stalinist ideology, but they also transcend its confines, leaving a fecund portrait of a vanished society. (Chicago Film Society)

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