The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde

A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde opens this Saturday, December 3. The exhibition brings together 260 major works from MoMA’s collection, tracing the period of artistic innovation between 1912 and 1935. Planned in anticipation of the centennial year of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the exhibition highlights breakthrough developments in the conception of Suprematism and Constructivism, as well as in avant-garde poetry, theater, photography, and film, by such figures as Alexandra Exter, Natalia Goncharova, El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Lyubov Popova, Alexandr Rodchenko, Olga Rozanova, Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg, and Dziga Vertov, among others.

[Gustav Klutsis. Memorial to Fallen Leaders. 1927. Cover with lithographed photomontage illustrations on front and back. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of The Judith Rothschild Foundation. © 2016 / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]

Silent Cinema!

Aelita: The Queen of Mars (Yakov Protazanov, 1924) 

The Lost World (Harry O. Hoyt, 1925)

Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914)

A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1930)

Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915)

The Man With A Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

Borderline (Kenneth Macpherson, 1930)

The Unknown (Tod Browning, 1927)

Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian, 1925)

The Golem: How He Came Into The World (Paul Wegener, 1915)

The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks ( Lev Kuleshov, 1924)

Japanese Girls At The Harbor (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1933)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (John S. Robertson, 1920)

Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty, 1922)

Souls on the Road (Minoru Murata, 1921)

Oscar Micheaux: Body and Soul, Within Our Gates, The Symbol of the Unconquered

Mikio Naruse: Apart From You, Every Night Dreams, Street Without End

F.W. Murnau: Faust, Phantom, Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, Tartuffe, Sunrise

Sergei Eisenstein: Strike, October, Battleship Potemkin

Victor Sjostrom: The Wind, The Outlaw And His Wife, Ingeborg Holm, He Who Gets Slapped, The Phantom Carriage

Paul Leni The Cat and the Canary, WaxworksThe Man Who Laughs

Buster Keaton: Sherlock Jr, The General, Our Hospitality, College, The Saphead, The Haunted House, Go West, Steamboat Bill Jr, Battling Buttler

Josef von SternbergThe Docks of New York, The Last Command, Underworld

Robert Wiene: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Hands of Orlac 

Carl Dreyer: The PresidentThe Passion of Joan of Arc, Michael, Leaves From Satan’s Book

D.W. Griffith: Intolerance, Way Down East, Orphans of the Storm

Kenji MizoguchiOrizuru Osen, The Water Magician, Poppy

Alexander Dovzhenko: Earth, Arsenal, Zvenigora

Vsevolod Pudovkin: The End of St. Petersburg, Mother, Storm Over Asia,

Fritz Lang: Metropolis, Die Nibelungen: Siegfried, Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge [1][2][3][4], Destiny, Woman In The Moon, Dr. Mabuse The Gambler [1][2], Spies

Jean Epstein: Coeur Fidele, The Fall of the House of Usher

Yasujiro Ozu: I Was Born But…, Tokyo Chorus, An Inn In Tokyo, Dragnet Girl

Charlie Chaplin: The Kid, Sunnyside, City Lights, Easy Street


Man With a Movie Camera | Dziga Vertov | 1929


A record on celluloid in 6 reels, produced by VUFKU 1929, (Excerpt from a cameraman’s diary)

This experimental work aims at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema based on it’s complete separation from the language of theatre and literature.

Author-Supervisor of this experiment: DZIGA VERTOV

Cheif cameraman: MIKHAIL KAUFMAN

 I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a word the way only I can see it. I free myself for today and forever from human immobility. I’m in constant movement. I approach and pull away from objects, I creep under them. I move alongside a running horse’s mouth, I fall and rise with the falling and rising bodies. This is I, the machine, manoeuvring in the chaotic movements, recording one movement after another in the most complex combinations.
Freed from the boundaries of time and space, I co-ordinate any and all points of the universe, wherever I want them to be. My way leads towards the creation of a fresh perception of the world. Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you.

Dziga Vertov