Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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September 17, 2008
one Harvey Denkin on a sequence in Vertov's "Forward, Soviet!":

The structure is simple, logical, and purely visual, for there is no text.

It is built upon three shots: A [children in a classroom]; B [the teacher]; and C [a child].

The sequence pattern is as follows:

            A          B          C          B          A          B          A          B          C          B          A

with a tempo arrangement:

            1.5      1.5           .5        1        1       .5           .5       .5            1       .5      1.5

[sequence = in a visual equivalent of rondo form?

        w/ collective of children as "principal theme"?

sequence = pair of visual palindromes?

    w/ teacher as "hinge" between them?


. . .

A graphic representation of the shot pattern [in the "gathering of the buses" section] might be rendered thus;

Part 1

Buses                    X        XX                XXXXXXXX                          XXXXXX
Loudspeaker                            X                                      X      X                        X
Titles              X        X          X    X                                      X                                 X

from "Linguistic Models in Early Soviet Cinema" (1977) (.pdf)


Elsewhere in the same essay, Denkin links the ideas in Eisenstein's "Film Form: New Problems" essay to the beliefs about man's early conceptual & linguistic evolution discussed here.

The latter writing discusses the debt owed by human language to human labor, and the debt owed by human labor to the labor of animals, including pigs.

In it, animal "language" is taken somewhat seriously:
In its natural state, no animal feels handicapped by its inability to speak or to understand human speech. It is quite different when it has been tamed by man.

Neither writing discusses one of Vertov's greatest (TiR thinks) brief scenes (in "Three Songs about Lenin"?), of the happy (Communist) peasant children in their newly-electrified (Communist) village, standing in a river, bathing a very happy looking (and presumably Communist) pig. The film is basically silent. But we imagine the pig happily oinking.