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Film Screening: Three Songs about Lenin

Still from Three Songs about Lenin

Screening of Dziga Vertov's 1934/38 film Three Songs about Lenin (Tri Pesni o Lenine) presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Revolution Every Day

FREE, but seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Co-presented by the Film Studies Center and the Smart Museum of Art.

Three Songs About Lenin (TRI PESNI O LENINE)

For Three Songs about Lenin—released for the tenth anniversary of the death of Vladimir Il’ich Lenin in 1934—Dziga Vertov gathered all known footage of Lenin and shot first-person testimonies about his legacy by workers, peasants, and newly liberated women of Central Asia. Three Songs was not only an international hit, but was also the only documentary in a wave of films in 1934 (most notably, the Vasil’ev brothers’ Chapaev) that defined the new aesthetic of socialist realism, the aesthetic for international socialism. Contrasted to Kinopravda No. 21 (“The Lenin Kinopravda” from 1925), Three Songs about Lenin articulates Vertov’s path from avant-garde montage to the “poetic documentary” he proposed for socialist realism.

(Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1934/38, 61 min., 35mm print courtesy of the Vertov Collection of the Austrian Film Museum)

About the series

Revolution Every Day: Dziga Vertov in the 1930s

The Film Studies Center and the Smart Museum of Art will present three rarely seen “poetic documentary” films by Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov. The three films comprise a trilogy on the situation of women in the USSR and show Vertov wrestling with the new possibilities of sound documentary. Projected from archival prints from the Austrian Film Museum and with new subtitles, these films will challenge our notions of Vertov as a filmmaker, of Soviet film under Stalin, and of the documentary mode.

The series:

Three Songs about Lenin (1934/1938)
Friday, October 6, 7 pm

Lullaby (1937)
Friday, October 20, 7 pm

The Three Heroines (1938)
Friday, November 10, 8 pm

Image: Dziga Vertov, still from Three Songs about Lenin (detail), 1934/1938.