The Kino-Eye Montage Procedure as a Formal Experiment

Amra Latifić


This text presents an analysis of the relationship between Kino-Eye, the Russian montage technique that was most clearly demonstrated by Dziga Vertov in his 1929 film The Man with a Movie Camera, and Russian Formalist theory, which underwent an intensive period of development during the 1920s. Russian Formalism, established primarily as a theory of literature, was likewise applied in film and the visual arts. A dominant characteristic of Soviet film authors and theorists from the avant-garde period was a preoccupation with linguistic aspects and an understanding of film itself in terms of language. Transposing Viktor Shklovsky’s notion of defamiliarization [остранение, ostranenie] to the visual experience of Vertov’s film contributes to an additional understanding of the usage of unconventional camera angles, diagonal camera positions, as well as to the interpreting of the Kino-Eye montage procedure. The experimental montage procedure of Kino-Eye is posited as an attempt to decode the world through the lens of a film camera, while understanding this procedure is linked to the impact of Shklovsky and Russian Formalism on Russian 1920s cinema.


Article received: December 15, 2017; Article accepted: December 30, 2017; Published online: April 15, 2018; Original scholarly paper


How to cite this article: Latifić, Amra. "The Kino-Eye Montage Procedure as a Formal Experiment." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 15 (2018): 23–33. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i15.227


the Kino-Eye montage procedure; Russian Formalist school; avant-garde; film; montage

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