Bernard Eisenschitz at the 2015 Essay Film Festival

This recording has come from the following event: “Rediscovering Esfir Shub: the Compilation Film and the Art of the Editing Table”

Event Description: This event combined screenings and discussions exploring the work of Esfir Shub (1894-1959), often considered the inventor of the compilation film, and undoubtedly a major figure in the history of documentary filmmaking. Although her name is always cited in histories of Soviet film and documentary cinema, Shub’s films are rarely if ever seen, with the exception of The Fall of the Romanoff Dynasty (1927). The study day featured screenings of rare films (notably Today and Komsomol: Patron of Electrification), as well as a re-evaluation of Shub’s role as an artist and as a pioneer of the recycling of archive footage in the essay film tradition.

Speaker Info: Bernard Eisenschitz (film historian, Paris, author of Nicholas Ray: An American Journey, Faber & Faber, 1993, and Gels et dégels: une autre histoire du cinéma soviétique 1926-1968, Mazzotta, 2013)

Included below are a number of links to films (all uploaded onto YouTube) referred to by Bernard in the audio recording selected to provide a reference point to the Shub’s trajectory as a film maker and her relationship with Dziga Vertov.

Kino-Pravda (Dziga Vertov, USSR 1922)

Sixth part of the World (Dziga Vertov, USSR 1926)

The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Esfir Shub, USSR 1927)

Three Songs about Lenin (Dziga Vertov, USSR 1934)

Spain (Esfir Shub, USSR 1939)

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