Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Dziga Vertov Group and The Spectators Redemption

The Dziga Vertov Group films produced by Gorin and Godard are problematic despite their best efforts in eliminating the line between the producers and viewers, because the medium inherently holds stultifiying qualities.  Cinema is a spectacle, by it's nature it is a one way medium. The more pedantic the film, the more stultifying it becomes and therefore undermines its own hopeful message. I will argue that Le Weekend (a pre-Dziga Vertov Group Film) and Tout Va Bien more effectively communicate their political / social commentary than La Chinoise (also pre-Dziga Vertov Group) and Le Vent d'Est using Ranciere's "Emancipated Spectator" and MacBean's article, "Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group: Film and Dialectics" as my key texts. 

MacBean's article lays out the mindset and intentions of the film makers of the Dziga Vertov Group. They sought to rid themselves of the idea of bourgeois authorship and utilize Brechtian principles throughout the film making process. They worked with other militants in the cause through the physical process of film making, later to show these films to militant workers and students. The films were meant to activate those in the audiences to do more and continue to evolve their theory and practice, however I would argue that the results are more stultifying and condescending than they intended. Instead, more successful of the radical films in Godard's canon are Le Weekend and Tout Va Bien precisely because they are more opened to interpretation and lay out characters and sequences in a less overbearing and more equidistant manner in line with the medium of cinema. 


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