Dzigo Vertov’s manifesto was one of the most interesting personal declarations I have ever read. Like all great manifestos, it remains true to this day- films “based on romance” and the “theatrical” still dominate the marketplace. Even though I don’t find adaptations and drama “leprous” (mainly due to Old Hollywood’s place in the canon, at this point) I can see how Vertov finds them limiting just as modern filmmakers find the prevalence of comic-book adaptations and romantic comedies limiting. The “loss of active thinking” Vertov found in the “six-act psychodrama” (13) has similarities to Hollywood today.
Still, the most interesting idea Vertov brings up is the limitations of the human eye. “We cannot improve the making of our eyes,” Vertov writes, “but we can endlessly perfect the camera” (15). I find this line particularly important because it suggests that humanity is imperfect, and only the machine combined with the artist will bring cinema to its highest point. In a way, this idea rhymes with what we read earlier on the Singularity, and I wonder what Vertov would have thought about eliminating humanity from the process entirely. As an artist and advocate of life (and believer in the “kinok-editor, organizing the minutes of the life-structure” on 21) I’m sure Vertov would stand by human involvement, but if he saw what technology made possible I bet he’d at least be open to more machinated art.