1929 poster for the film by the Stenberg brothers
Dziga Vertov’s 1929 experimental masterpiece ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ [Человек с кино аппаратом, Chelovek s kino apparatom (R), Людина з кіноапаратом, Lyudyna z kinoaparatom (U)], along with Eisenstein’s ‘Battleship Potemkin’, must be the most influential of all Soviet films. Greeted with mostly bafflement and criticism on its release and neglected for decades, it is now a staple of film studies courses and academic papers. It was voted one of the ten best films in cinematic history by ‘Sight & Sound’ readers, and the best documentary ever made.
However, it is not a documentary in the conventional terms of a 1920s ‘City Symphony’, such as Paul Strand’s on New York (‘Manhatta’, 1921), or Walter Ruttmann’s on Berlin (‘Berlin: Symphony of a Great City’, 1927). On the face of it the film portrays a film cameraman’s journey around an unnamed Soviet city recording its life during one day. However, the pioneering special effects and rapid montage sequences, the extensive use of Lev Kuleshov’s theory of ‘Creative Geography’ (where different locations are edited together to portray a single place), the idea of showing the process of film-making, the beautiful cinematography, and the joyful humanity that is portrayed, lift it beyond mere documentary to the level of great art. Watching ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ is still a thrilling experience over 90 years after it was made, whereas other ‘City Symphonies’ of this period look very much of their time.
This blog post assumes a knowledge of the film, and for those readers who are unfamiliar with this masterpiece a link to a YouTube version is given below, and a previous blog post ‘The movie cameras in Man with a Movie Camera’ has an extensive bibliography. Professor John MacKay of Yale University, Vertov’s biographer, has written an invaluable Introduction to the film, available to read on Academia.
A large part of ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ was shot during 1928 in Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. Vertov had been hired by VUFKU (the All-Ukrainian Photo-Film Directorate, in Kiev) in 1927 after being sacked from Sovkino, the Russian equivalent, for being over budget on his film ‘One Sixth of the World’ (1926), and for refusing to present a script for ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (which he had no intention of writing). His first commission from VUFKU in 1927 was ‘The Eleventh Year’, a short propaganda film about the development of the electricity industry as part of the young Soviet Union’s drive to develop the backward country (ahead of Stalin’s first Five Year Plan which began in 1928). It was clear that Dziga Vertov was already planning ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ as several of the sequences for the latter were shot at the same time as those for ‘The Eleventh Year’ (with a Debrie Parvo Model K 35mm hand-cranked camera, not the later Model L used on MwaMC – see my blog post on the cameras in ‘Man with a Movie Camera’). Professor MacKay has also seen notes to suggest footage for MwaMC was filmed at the same time as ‘One Sixth of the World’, but it seems that none of this footage was included in the later film.
As with his previous films, Dziga Vertov worked with his wife Elizaveta Svilova as editor, and his brother Mikhail Kaufman as cinematographer, calling themselves in Soviet style ‘The Council of Three’. For obvious reasons Kaufman, as the eponymous ‘Man with the Movie Camera’, was being filmed by others, whose superb work is seldom credited, not least on the original film titles! Professor MacKay notes in his Academia paper (footnote #22) that the other cameramen whose footage was used on MwaMC (including that taken during ‘The Eleventh Year’) were: Boris Tseitlin, Konstantin Kuliaev, and Georgii Nikolaevich Khimchenko.
I decided to research and write this post as there seems to be a good deal of confusion in many published commentaries on the film about where it was shot. As ‘Creative Geography’ is a key part of the ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ I thought it would be both useful and enjoyable to establish exactly where the different scenes were filmed, the location’s appearance at the time, and the present. Many of the locations were already well known and much of the rest has been tracked down; the few elusive ones are included in the hope that a reader of the post familiar with the three cities may recognise them. By following the screenshots in the order they appear in the film you get a real sense of the extraordinary creative and editing process that links so many diverse locations and periods into one vision of a city throughout a single day. Also clearly evident is a fine appreciation of architecture and the urban (and industrial) landscape.
The post will be continually updated with corrections and new information.
The locations and schedule for both films have been published in academic papers (JSTOR & Academia) by Professor MacKay, gleaned from Vertov’s notes in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI) summarised (by me) as follows:
‘The Eleventh Year’ (1927)
Moscow to the Volkhov dam (near Leningrad) in June 1927; then to the Ukrainian sites of Kharkov at the end of June and beginning of July, the Kamenskoe (Kamianske) Iron Foundry (on the Dnieper River) in July and August, and the Donbass industrial region* in August. There was a visit to the under construction Dnieper Hydroelectric Station during September, and then to Kiev** for the tenth anniversary celebrations of the October Revolution. The film crew also went to Odessa and the Romanian border but the exact dates of these visits are not known.
*The mines, coke ovens, and steelworks of Rutchenkovo and Lidievka around the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine. The city, originally named Hughesovka after the Welsh businessman who started the Russian steel industry, was known as Stalin at the time of the film.
**Though the sequence showing this in the film (and possibly MwaMC, see screenshot [00:17:54]) appears to be in Sovetskaya (now Tverskaya) Square, Moscow (the obelisk Monument to the Soviet Constitution in that square is clearly visible).
‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (1928)
The new footage for ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ was shot from early June to the middle of September 1928: Moscow in June, Odessa in June and July, Kiev in July and August, Kharkov* in August, and another visit to Kiev at the end of August to mid September.
*I am unable to find any scenes located in Kharkov (Kharkiv). Perhaps the sequences filmed there were never used. Comments welcome from readers more knowledgeable about that city.
I have queries about some of these dates as the clothing worn in the relevant sequences does not seem to tie in with the time of year stated. For example the filming in Moscow took place in June, a warm summer month in the city, but people in the scenes are often wearing coats [00:18:51]. Filming in Kiev was apparently done in the summer and early autumn as well but the audience in the cinema is wearing winter clothes [00:02:34] [00:02:47]!
Location map (see end of blog post for detailed maps of cities). Illustration to ‘The Riddle of Russia’ by Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, published in the Daily Telegraph on 31 January 1929 (courtesy of Warwick University). My annotations in red.
MAIN LOCATIONS SEEN IN THE FILM
MOSCOW: Kuznetsky Most, Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre and Revolution Squares, Teatral’nyy Proyezd, Okhotny Ryad, Tverskaya, Strastnaya Square, Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage*, Novo-Sukharevsky Market*.
KIEV: Khreschatyk (including cinema), Sofiys’ka Square, Park Bridge, Red Stadium (netball), Lenin Club.
ODESSA: Prymorskyi Boulevard, Port, Station and Pryvokzal’na Square, Pushkins’ka street, Tram Depot*, Sports Ground*, Arcadia Beach, Kuyal’nik Resort.
With the exception of those with a star these were all well known locations, repeated multiple times throughout the film, which would have been very familiar to a late 1920s Soviet audience. This makes the extensive use of ‘Creative Geography’ to give the impression of a single city even more significant than it would be to a modern international audience with no knowledge of these places. In Moscow and Kiev much has changed since the film was made, but the locations in Odessa are still recognisable. The scenes in Moscow are particularly poignant, showing a largely unspoilt and beautiful city just before the widespread destruction of the 1930s from Stalin’s megalomaniac ‘Master Plan for the Reconstruction of Moscow’ (the first major church to be demolished was St Paraskeva on Okhotny Ryad in June 1928 which must have been only a few days after it was filmed).
DONBASS: Rutchenkovo and Lidievka (coal mine, coal yard and gantry, chimney, and blast furnace. The latter may have been taken in the Kamenskoe (Kamianske) Iron Foundry on the Dnieper River).
VOLKHOV (Leningrad): Hydroelectric Power Plant dam (Волховская ГEС).
There are inconsistencies with translated place names in Russian and Ukrainian, and I have sometimes used the anglicised version (Theatre Square etc). Many are gleaned from Google Earth. I will try to amend these if necessary as the post is updated.
I would like to thank the following for their invaluable help and information, and patience in responding to many questions. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of anything in this blog post. Any errors and omissions are entirely mine.
Irina Chuzhinova, Ukrainian Cultural Foundation
Alina Fedorovich of the Museum of Moscow
Dr Max Hodgson
Professor Catriona Kelly
Professor Robin Milner-Gulland
Dr Denis Romodin of the Museum of Moscow
Professor Hanna Vesolovska
Professor Martin Williams
I would particularly like to mention Mr Kalnytsky (Kiev), Dr Romodin (Moscow), and Mr Volokin (Odessa), leading historians of their respective cities, whose great knowledge of them solved many puzzles. Mykhailo Kalnytsky has a fascinating journal on Kiev and its inhabitants, and Yevgeny Volokin has a comprehensive website on Odessa, full of historic information and old photographs.
Google Earth and Google Maps screenshots: Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google LLC, used with permission.
Contemporary Soviet photographs are generally in the public domain (Russia has a 70 year copyright limit).
Fair Use claimed for any copyright material as it is copied for solely research purposes and commentary only, without financial gain. Attribution and links given where known.
And very grateful thanks to Wikipedia, Google Earth, Google Images, Google Translate, and the Typeit website’s invaluable Russian and Ukrainian keyboards!
Please contact me on email@example.com with any comments, criticisms, and corrections. I would be very pleased to hear from anyone with information on the scenes that can’t be located or verified.
Richard Bossons June 2020
The approximate time of each screenshot is shown as [hr:min:sec] and they have been taken from a version on YouTube of a 2014 digital restoration of ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (with the perfect Alloy Orchestra score based on Dziga Vertov’s notes) from a Ukrainian source AVG. The high definition restoration of the film (originally by Lobster Films and the Eye Film Institute) has been a revelation for researchers as you can now pick out details never seen before, essential for the work involved in establishing the locations.
I have been through virtually every frame of the film to pick out a location of some sort, however brief, and I am fairly confident that most have been covered. Each one verified has either had clear architectural evidence pointing to the exact street or square for example, or has been confirmed by those I have consulted above. The ones I cannot verify or find are noted as such. Most of the minor ones without any clues will never be found. However, I am happy to be corrected as this is the first attempt to establish all of the locations used in ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ which I hope will be useful and add to the enjoyment of watching this wonderful film.
Images not in the film are described in italics.
[00:01:14] Top of the Hotel National, Moscow.
The superb Socialist realist paintings (1931) at the top of this famous Moscow hotel overlooking the Kremlin are hardly seen in the opening frames of Reel 1. Designed by the architect Alexander Ivanov, the National opened in 1903; after the Revolution the hotel became the seat of the first Soviet government in 1918. Lenin, Trotsky, and Dzerzhinsky all lived in the National at this time. Still a luxury hotel, now owned by the Marriott group.[Photograph by A Savin, Wikimedia Commons]
[00:01:22] Electricity post and street light, Moscow.
A similar post near to the tram stop pavilion in Strastnaya Square (enlarged from an original photograph courtesy of the Museum of Moscow).
[00:01:30] Goskino No. 1 Cinema (originally Shantser Cinema), Khreschatyk 38, Kiev.
Note ST on chair = Shantser Theater.
The spectacular interior of the cinema is largely concealed in the movie.
The balcony needed propping up later as there are two centre posts visible in the film!
1930s view of the cinema on Khreschatyk (left of photograph). This block and most of the rest of the street was destroyed in WW2.
Anton Shantser (Шанцер, aka Shanzer or Schantzer) was an Austrian citizen of Polish descent and a tailor by trade but noticed an opportunity in the growing cinema business (the pioneering Lumiere brothers had visited Kiev in 1896). He opened his first, the Express Cinema, on the main boulevard through Kiev, Khreschatyk, in 1907, and several others followed. Five years later, in an annexe to the Belle View Hotel at Khreschatyk 38, Shantser opened his most luxurious cinema, named after himself. According to the local paper and guests at the opening night in December 1912 this 1,100 seater theatre had a spectacular two storey foyer with velvet curtains and classical columns lit by a large chandelier. The cinema itself had armchairs with folding seats, a sloping floor and mechanical ventilation, all ‘richly decorated in the Greek style’. There was a professional concert orchestra of 30 musicians, a lot more than we see at the beginning of ‘Man with a Movie Camera’. The new cinema was a great success but unfortunately for Mr Shantser it was confiscated five years later after the Revolution and re-named Goskino No. 1 Cinema. Much of the luxury seemed to have disappeared by 1928 as the cinema looks rather drab in the film [sources: ‘Weekend Today’ and an Essay by Vlad Kaganov, ‘Khreschatyk. The best cinemas of the early twentieth century’].
[00:02:18] [00:03:45] [00:03:53] Apartment window in a brick wall. Location not found, but demonstrates the attention to detail in the film: this first image in reel 1 is actually shown on the film threaded through the projector!
[00:03:59] Street lights, Moscow. This design of lampost is used in Theatre Square (Teatral’naya ploschad) next to the Bolshoi Theatre. Exact location not found.
[00:04:19] The outdoor restaurant of the ‘London’ Hotel on Prymorskyi Boulevard, Odessa (then known as Feldman Boulevard after the city revolutionary who joined the Potemkin Mutiny). A popular venue as it was located next to the top of the Boulevard Steps, aka Prymorskyi Stairs, or Richelieu Steps (re-named Potemkin Stairs in 1955 on the 50th anniversary of Eisenstein’s film. Now formally known by its original name of Prymorskyi Stairs but still known to most by the Potemkin version).
[00:04:28] As above featuring a giant bottle advertisement. Surprisingly, I have not managed to locate any period photographs or postcards with this, presumably, well-known feature of the restaurant! Screenshot [00:08:34] shows the view to the left of the bottle.
A contemporary photograph of the restaurant – note the stone ‘obelisks’ visible in the screenshots, now painted white [photograph and restaurant information from viknaodessa].
The restaurant seen from a crowded Boulevard Steps; ‘obelisks’ clearly visible on the corners of the terrace [photograph from viknaodessa].
Mid 19thC engraving of the recently completed (1841) Boulevard Steps and Primorskyi Boulevard gives a slightly exaggerated impression of how high the city stands above its harbour (the Steps rise nearly 30m with 192 steps). Previously the only way up was by winding paths and rickety wooden steps. A funicular railway was built up the slope in 1902.
Top of the Prymorskyi/Potemkin Stairs on Prymorskyi Boulevard. The original location of the restaurant, latterly called the ‘Lighthouse’, was behind the statue of the Duc de Richelieu (Governor of Odessa in the early 1800s, and a fascinating character who developed the city into the third largest in the Russian Empire). The terrace is in a ruinous state. A pity, as it would seem to be a great location at the top of a very long flight of steps!
[00:04:32] Bench with man asleep, Strastnaya Square, Moscow [see also [00:13:10].
[00:04:37] Rubbish bin, Kiev. The brand new bin (chained to a post) has an exhortation by the Kiev City authorities: ‘Citizens – Preserve Cleanliness!’ (compare and contrast the rather tatty bins provided by its Moscow counterpart! [00:05:27])
[00:04:38] Boy in rags asleep on a wooden container used for winter salt and grit, Moscow (see background of screenshot [00:13:18] for a similar container). Unable to find the exact location, possibly Strastnaya Square again.
[00:04:44] Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, Obraztsova Street, Moscow.
A contemporary view of the garage.
Current view after restoration and conversion into The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture.
An iconic Moscow building, built in 1927, designed by the Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974), with structural design by the pioneering engineer Vladimir Shukhov (1853-1939). Not really a Constructivist building as it is quite conventional to look at in red brick and a low pitched roof. What makes it an avant-garde landmark in industrial architecture is the parallelogram shaped floor plan developed by Melnikov from an earlier design for a Paris garage. This enabled buses to drive in at one end and leave at the other without having to reverse which enabled many more buses to park in the garage than would be the case with a conventional layout (below). Neglected for decades and nearly demolished it was saved by Daria Zhukova and Roman Abramovitch who converted it into the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in 2007-2010. The gallery moved to Gorky Park in 2012 and then in 2015 to a spectacular OMA designed building in the park. The former bus garage is now the world’s largest Jewish Museum.
Diagrammatic plan of the garage (Wikipedia)
[00:04:46] Carriages, a driver asleep. Presumably near Odessa station as this type of carriage is seen collecting passengers in later scenes, but Yevgeny Volokin does not recognise the location as Odessa. Not verified.
[00:04:53] Shop front fascia with sign reading TSEROBKOOP, Kiev or Odessa. This is the Ukrainian acronym for Центральний робітничий кооператив (Central Workers Cooperative). The Russian version was TSERABKOOP (Центральный рабочий кооператив) as shown below in a propaganda illustration of the early 1920s. These co-ops ran in parallel with the private enterprise shops during the NEP (New Economic Policy) period, the latter shown in various scenes throughout the film (eg [00:56:22]).
[00:04:56] Novo-Sukharevsky Market (1926-1930), North Moscow
Contemporary aerial views of the interesting roof design of the market.
The Market office building – the only surviving structure (to be restored).
Designed by Konstantin Melnikov, the construction of the market began in 1924, after the city decided to replace the unofficial outdoor market on Sukharevka. The stalls in wooden pavilions were put up on a vacant plot of land between Bolshoi Sukharevsky Pereulok, Trubnaya and Sadovo-Sukharevskaya streets. The three shopping aisles converged like rays towards the centre, where the brick office building was located. The market was vacated in 1930. Information and photograph of the office building from the Moscow City website.
[00:04:59] Apartment building in Moscow or Kiev from the architecture, but unable to verify. The angled shot is influenced by the photographs of Vertov’s friend Alexander Rodchenko.
[00:05:03] Maternity hospital interior. Unable to find location.
[00:05:12] Apartment building exterior, windows with shutters. Unable to find location.
[00:05:17] At first glance this looks like a park overlooking the sea, and therefore in Odessa. However, the sea does not look like this from the high viewpoint of the city parks [00:08:34] [00:53:37], and Yevgeny Volokin confirmed that it is not in Odessa. I believe it to be a park or square in Moscow because of the distinctive rubbish bins of the city (you can just make out the letters MK on some of them which stand for “Московский коммунальщик” [Moscow Communal Services]). The same letters are on the bin in the screenshot [00:06:46]. What appears to be the sea is more likely a large area of cobbles (see [00:13:49] for a similar texture). There are also possible tram lines top right. There are no other obvious clues, and the landscaping is rather nondescript so I can’t find the exact location in Moscow.
These ‘MK урна’ (urns) featured in a long running children’s cartoon series (1969-2006) called “Ну, погоди!”(“Well, just you wait!”) being constantly kicked over by a naughty wolf! [thanks to the Museum of Moscow for information on bins and cartoon].
[00:05:22] Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre Square, Moscow. Advertisement for BORJOMI mineral water from Georgia (still being produced). See above for details of rubbish bin.
[00:05:27] Park bench with MK rubbish bin, Moscow (see above for details). Exact location not found. The bench design differs slightly from that in Strastnaya Square (see [00:13:10] and [00:13:18]).
[00:05:31] Bolshoi Theatre
19thC postcard of the theatre
Current view [Google Earth]
The Bolshoi Theatre originally opened in 1825 as the Big (bolshoi) Petrovsky Theatre (as it was larger than its predecessor) which was the focal point of a new Theatre Square, but nearly thirty years later it was destroyed by fire. The rebuilt theatre was designed by Alberto Cavos and opened in August 1856, in time for Tsar Alexander IIs coronation. After the Revolution, there was serious talk of closing the theatre as one of the main symbols of Tsarist and bourgeois culture, but the Bolshevik government decided to keep it as a congress centre. It was from the Bolshoi Theatre stage that the declaration of the formation of the USSR was made in 1922. Further information from the Bolshoi website.
[00:5:41] Wine, vodka and food shop, Moscow (signs are in Russian).
[00:05:45] Volodymyrska Street looking towards Sofiys’ka Square, Kiev (Bogdan Khmelnitsky statue in the centre of the square). Dating from the 10thC this street is one of the oldest continually inhabited streets in Europe.
Current views of Sofiys’ka Square and statue – the building behind the statue and the one with a corner tower and dome are recognisable in the screenshot from the movie [top: Google Earth; bottom: Ukrainian Trip Adviser]. Sofiys’ka is one of the main squares of Kiev, overlooked by the Cathedral of St Sophia.
[00:05:51] Ladies & Men’s hairdresser, Moscow (Russian sign). Location not found.
[00:05:54] Large apartment block, Kiev. Rear of building on Yaroslav Val (off Volodymyrska Street) .
[00:05:58] Singer sewing machine shop. Location not found.
[00:06:01] Another ‘Rodchenko style’ apartment block image. Location not found.
[00:06:03] Radio (?) shop with dummy cyclist. Location not found.
[00:06:10] Building with large windows. Location not found.
[00:06:26] The first of many scenes on Kuznetsky Most in central Moscow. The poster is advertising an anniversary (presumably the 60th as he was born in 1868) collection of Maxim Gorky’s works available from the state publishing house Gosizdat!
A similar view of the street from the early 1930s with a luxury Lincoln Model K parked next to the building under the banner above. No doubt a top ranking official going shopping!
Late 19th Century postcard of the street looking towards the same junction (all the buildings in the background are recognisable in the screenshot).
Current appearance of the street from a similar viewpoint as the screenshot [Google Earth]. The buildings on the left have survived, and the large one on the rhs.
One of the oldest streets in the city, since the 18th Century Kuznetsky Most has been a fashionable shopping street, and still is. The name is derived from ‘Blacksmith’s bridge’ over a river that now runs underground. After the Revolution it became a centre for writers and culture (the Moscow House of Artists and School of Fine Arts are located here). Fortunately it is one of the few historic streets in Moscow that escaped Stalin’s disastrous town planning and so is recognisable from the film.
[00:06:36] Industrial silhouette – probably filmed in the Donbass or Kamianske for ‘The Eleventh Year’.
[00:06:45] Izvestia newspaper building, Strastnaya Square (re-named Pushkinskaya Square in 1931), Moscow. The tower of the doomed Strastnoy (Passion) Monastery is on the right.
1950s view of building (after the demolition of Strastnoy Monastery)
Architect’s perspective view (courtesy of The Charnel House)
The Izvestia newspaper building is an iconic Constructivist building in Moscow, designed by Grigorii Barkhin, built in 1927. This began the modernisation of Strastnaya Square (supported by the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky) leading to the demolition of the 17th century Strastnoy Monastery and the extension of the original square in 1937 as part of Joseph Stalin’s megalomaniac re-planning of the city. Pushkin’s statue was moved to the centre of the new square in 1950. The Charnel House website has details of the Izvestia building.
Contemporary aerial view of Strastnaya Square. The Izvestia building is on the right opposite the monastery. Pushkin’s Statue is top centre. The dome of Demetrios Church is top centre (demolished 1934). Tverskaya Street passes through the square.
Contemporary view over Strastnaya Square with the new Izvestia building behind the Strastnoy Monastery tower. Pushkin’s statue is at the bottom left. The dome of Demetrius Church in the foreground.
Early 1900s view of the huge monastery. There is a current campaign to rebuild it in its original location.
[00:06:53] View of steelworks, Donbass or Kamianske*.
[00:07:09] View of blast furnace Cowper stoves, Donbass or Kamianske*. These wonderful industrial images could have been taken by Bernd and Hilla Becher 40 years later!
*The shooting location notes include Kamenskoe (Kamianske) Iron Foundry. This was likely to have been the oldest steelworks in the city, known today as the Dneprovskiyi Metallurgical Plant. I have not been able to verify whether it was this or one in the Donbass that was the location for all or some of the steelworks sequences. It would have been logical to have filmed both the steelworks and coal mines in the same area.
[00:07:15] Kuznetsky Most, Moscow.
[00:07:22] Traffic semaphore on Kuznetsky Most.
[00:07:25] [00:07:40] View of a glass entrance door from a building interior. Location not found.
[00:07:31] [00:07:53] [00:08:00] View of a road between apartment blocks from above. Courtyard of the ‘Ginzburg Skyscraper’, Kiev (the tallest pre-war building in the city). See also screenshot [00:11:48].
[00:08:05] Park Bridge, Petrivs’ka Alley, Kiev. Another iconic image from the film.
A contemporary view of the elegant pedestrian bridge and contrasting heavy looking abutments.
Current view of the bridge and abutments [Google Earth].
Also known as ‘Devil’s Bridge’ or ‘Lover’s Bridge’ it was built in 1910 to replace a wooden structure. After the Revolution the bridge fell into disrepair which was written about by Mikhail Bulgakov in his essay ‘Kiev, the City’ in 1923. Repaired after WW2, it was replaced by a new matching steel structure in 1983.
[00:08:21] Pigeons in Strastnoy Monastery rh corner tower, Strastnaya Square, Moscow.
[00:08:27 on] Railway line sequence. Location not found.
[00:08:34] Restaurant of the ‘London’ Hotel, Prymorskyi Boulevard, Odessa. Note the ships in the distance, and possibly the harbour breakwater on the lhs? See also screenshots [00:04:19] and [00:04:28].
[00:09:53 on] Tramp waking up. Location not found.
[00:10:13] Woman sweeping tram tracks, Strastnaya Square, Moscow (clues are the tram stop pavilion behind and the grit bin in the background (see [00:13:18] where the same bin is visible).
[00:10:17] [00:10:24] Man with one leg on a bench/step in front of the tram ticket kiosk on Strastnaya Square, Moscow. Destinations on the lhs of the kiosk window, bottom one reading ‘Slavyanskaya’.
Close up of the kiosk on the square, behind Pushkin’s statue (note the wooden grit bins at the top by the tram stop pavilion visible in other scenes).
[00:10:30] Kuznetsky Most, Moscow
[00:10:41] Lamp posts being hosed down. Location not found.
[00:10:53] Rubbish bin being hosed down, Kiev (see [00:04:37]).
[00:11:04] Woman cleaning window. Location not found.
[00:11:48] Building with corner tower and aerial. This is the ‘Ginzberg Skyscraper’ in Kiev, another interesting building in the film. See also [00:07:31] for the courtyard.
The ‘Ginzberg Skyscraper’ was an enormous 11 storey apartment block built in 1912 by Lev Ginzberg; at the time it was the ‘tallest building in the Russian Empire’. The building was destroyed, along with most of central Kiev, by the retreating Red Army in 1941. You can see the tower in the screenshot in the centre of the lh photograph .
[00:11:59] Mikhail Kaufman (MK) runs up a large industrial structure with a Debrie Model K camera and tripod – I have been unable to verify what or where this is. I have not found any past or present bridges in Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, Kamianske, or Donetsk with this structure. A structural engineer told me that it was not likely to be a conventional bridge (an odd looking inverted bowstring truss suspension design), but could be an industrial structure or a moving bridge (lifting or turning). See later image of this structure below.
[00:12:06] Aircraft hangar – unfortunately I cannot locate this which is a pity as it looks like an interesting structure with its large clear span and huge opening door. I am waiting for information from aircraft museums in Moscow and Kiev.
[00:12:28] Tram depot, Stepova Street, Odessa
Current [Google Earth] and 1960s views of the depot which is now a museum and workshop
One of Mikhail Kaufman’s criticisms of ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (he fell out permanently with his brother over differences in creative viewpoints during editing ) was that ‘there were too many trams’. A valid criticism as indeed there are trams everywhere (which was the case in those days). The trams in the three cities can generally be differentiated as follows:
Moscow – a horizontal white band along the lower side; Kiev – a white panel on the front, and sometimes along the sides; Odessa – neither band nor panel but only the elegant lining around the body panels [00:12:28]. The colours were generally deep red with a white or cream superstructure. Typical (restored) Moscow tram of the 1920s below.
[00:12:38] Mikhail Kaufman on top of an industrial structure with a tram. I think this was filmed in the Donbass or Kamianske during ‘The Eleventh Year’ in 1927 for several reasons (also refer to first screenshot above). The camera appears to be the Model K Debrie Parvo used on this film (it does not have the silver disc on the side of the Model L used during the 1928 filming); the tram is unusual in that it is in one drab looking colour (Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa trams generally had light coloured superstructures; also see above note on trams in these cities); the second carriage is very short and industrial looking with open ends; and the headboard design is unlike the other cities and says ‘Factory to Station’. Perhaps it is a special tram for the steel workers to Rutchenkovo or Kamianske Station. All speculation as I have not found any similar trams. I have contacted a Ukrainian Tram preservation society but as yet have had no reply – to be confirmed!
[00:12:45] Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, Moscow (see screenshot [00:04:44] above).
[00:13:10] [00:13:18] Woman on a bench, Strastnaya Square, Moscow. Clues are the news stand on the corner of the square (lhs) and the tram stop pavilion and toilets behind the tram seen in the middle of the square above. Many thanks to Dr Denis Romodin of the Museum of Moscow for locating this scene and for suggesting the location of the exact bench (arrow)! Note the grit bin circled in [00:13:18] which is also visible in screenshot [00:10:13]. Photograph courtesy of the Museum.
The ticket kiosk in [00:10:20] is just to the right of the arrow.
[00:13:21] Teatral’naya (Theatre) and Revolyutsii (Revolution) Squares, Moscow.
These famous squares are in central Moscow near Red Square. You can just see a corner of the park in Revolution Square next to Theatre Square in the foreground which is overlooked by the Bolshoi Theatre (the camera would have been on the top floor). The large (red) building in the background was built in 1890 as the City Hall, then the Lenin Museum. It is now used as a gallery for some of the collections of the State Historical Museum. All the buildings on the right have been replaced by a dreary block and a car park as can be seen in the current Google Street View below (the caption says Theatre Square but the building overlooks Revolution Square).
[00:13:29] Mostorg Department Store, Theatre Square, Moscow. This was the former Muir & Mirrielees department store (below), founded by two Scottish emigres. Now occupied by TsUM, it is a spectacular Gothic Revival building designed by the architect Roman Klein, opened in 1908. Confiscated after the Revolution it was re-named ‘Mostorg’ in 1922.
At first glance the glass facade could be from the famous 1927 Mostorg store above, on Krasnaya Presnya, designed by the Constructivist architects Aleksandr, Leonid and Viktor Vesnin. A similar appearance at ground level but the Theatre Square store windows reflect part of the Bolshoi Theatre and the City Hall. The Vesnin building facade still exists as a Benetton store front, but the interesting iron framed lower facade of the Muir & Mirrielees store has been replaced by a very ordinary design (below).
[00:13:35] Tverskaya Street, Moscow.
Current view of Tverskaya [Google Earth].
The clue to the location is the circled sign for the ‘Tverskaya 46’ Cinema, previously the Central Cinema (entry in 1929 Moscow directory below) on the corner of the building. That does not necessarily give us the exact modern junction as the street numbering will have undoubtedly changed. However, this is a current view of 46 (not 30 as caption) Tverskaya Street at the junction of Sadovaya-Triumfalnaya Street.
Cinema information courtesy of Live Journal.
[00:13:45] MK with Debrie Interview camera and tripod on his shoulder walks past a poster for ‘The Awakening Woman’. This poster also appears earlier in the film, and in the reflected panning view of Strastnaya Square [00:18:30], but it isn’t clear where this scene is located.
[00:13:49] Strastnaya Square, Moscow. The Pushkin statue is concealed on the right (moved to the centre of the re-planned square in 1950). Filmed with a telephoto lens from the Monastery opposite?
A similar wide angle view of the square and Pushkin statue (centre).
[00:13:57] Steelworks chimney, Donbass or Kamianske (and two more).
[00:14:08] Tverskaya Street, Moscow (as [00:13:35]).
[00:14:13] [00:14:24] [00:14:30] [00:14:35] [00:14:40] Mikhail Kaufman climbs up a steelworks chimney, Donbass or Kamianske*.
A terrifying looking ascent (probably not with the 10kg camera inside the case) though there does seem to be a rudimentary safety cable alongside the rungs (below)!
[00:14:45] MK pauses ‘near the top of the chimney’ to get the camera out of its case (but would have been filmed nearer to ground level judging from the angle and safety concerns!).
[00:14:50] Tverskaya Street, Moscow (as before).
[00:15:38] Steelworks lifts, Donbass or Kamianske*. Also seen next to the chimney in the images below.
[00:15:42] Coal yard and gantry, Donbass (presumed to be Rutchenkovo – see below for a general view).
[00:15:47] Coal mine, Donbass.
[00:15:56] Coal yard, handcarts over the cameraman, Donbass (Rutchenkovo, as below?).
[00:16:08] View of Cowper ovens at a steelworks, Donbass or Kamianske*.
A still from ‘The Eleventh Year’ showing the same works.
*Refer to [00:06:53] for note on Kamenskoe (Kamianske) Iron Foundry.
Contemporary view over the Rutchenkovo coal mine and steelworks. Coal unloading gantry in screenshot [00:15:42] on lhs?
Contemporary view over Kamenskoe (Kamianske) steelworks.
Contemporary poster -‘The Donbass is the Heart of Russia’
[00:16:11] Strastnaya Square, Moscow (Izvestia building on lhs).
Contemporary image of whole building – note the huge clock!
Current view of the re-named Pushkinskaya Square – restored Izvestia Building on the left and a much wider road following the Strastnoy Monastery demolition and re-planning of the square.
[00:16:16] MK with the Debrie Parvo Model K on a moving gantry over a steelworks(?) yard, Donbass or Kamianske. Not located.
A still of the same huge gantry from ‘The Eleventh Year’
[00:16:30] Presumed entrance to Novo-Sukharevsky Market, Moscow (not verified).
[00:16:48] Strastnaya Square, Moscow (same camera position as [00:16:11].
[00:16:54] MK and camera (Debrie Interview) walking through the main avenue of Novo-Sukharevsky Market, Moscow (see screenshot [00:04:56] for details of the Market)
[00:17:08] Trams crossing Strastnaya Square, Moscow
[00:17:14] Market view with rear of church (?) in background. Building not found.
[00:17:22] Aerial view over Khreschatyk, the main boulevard in the centre of Kiev (at that time [1923-1937] known as Vorovsky Street). Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) at the top, just past the bend (then known as Soviet Square). I have not yet found the high level camera location.
Current view of the street, mostly rebuilt and widened after war damage (the centre of the city was blown up by the retreating Red Army) [Google Earth].
[00:17:33] [00:17:41] Moscow shop seen in screenshot [00:05:41] opening shutters.
[00:17:47] Kuznetsky Most
[00:17:54] Possibly Sovetskaya Square (now Tverskaya Square), Moscow. Marchers celebrating the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution as filmed for ‘The Eleventh Year’ as below? Obelisk monument to the Soviet Constitution at right. The film location schedule at the beginning of the post has Kiev being the site of the demonstration. Not verified.
[00:18:06] Petrovsky Fountain on Revolution Square, the Bolshoi Theatre in the background. The building on the rhs is the Mostorg (now the TsUM) department store, a 1908 Gothic Revival building by the architect Roman Klein (see screenshot [00:13:29] for details).
[00:18:30] Strastnaya Square reflected in panning shot of shop windows (Monastery and dome of Demetrius Church visible).
[00:20:03] Reflection in shop window with ‘cyclist’ – reflected building not yet found
[00:18:42] Teatral’nyy Proyezd, (Theatre Passage) Moscow.
A contemporary view of the street. Part of the Kitay-gorod mediaeval wall on the right with the dome of St Panteleimon Chapel above. Note the sledge transport on the rhs! Theatre Passage is one of the main streets in the historic centre of Moscow connecting Theatre Square with Lubyanka (seen at the top of the photograph).
A similar view but looking very different now, this historic street was totally obliterated by Stalinist planners. The notorious Lubyanka KGB HQ and prison is at the end of the avenue.
[00:18:51] Kuznetsky Most, Moscow
[00:19:06] Okhotny Ryad, Moscow. The end facade of Dom Soyuzov (House of the Unions) is on the rhs. The beautiful 17thC church of St Paraskeva on the lhs was destroyed (in June 1928) just after it was filmed.
19thC postcard of Okhotny Ryad and St Paraskeva Church.
Current appearance of the street from the same viewpoint as the screenshot! [Google Earth]. Okhotny Ryad is the continuation of Teatral’nyy Proyezd (Theatre Passage) from Theatre Square to the bottom of Tverskaya and the top of Red Square. Famous for its market, restaurants, speciality shops and old hotels before the Revolution the whole area was devastated by Stalin’s re-planning of central Moscow in the 1930s.
One of the major historic sights of Moscow, Dom Soyuzov is a huge 18thC princely mansion that became the Assembly of the Russian Nobility at the end of the 18thC. Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev and other Soviet leaders all lay in state here, and the building became the centre of the country’s social, political and cultural life holding concerts, chess matches, conferences, and Party Congresses. It was also the setting for some of the notorious Stalin show trials in the late 1930s.
Contemporary photograph of Dom Soyuzov
[00:19:18] Split screen with the same street view – location not found.
[00:19:26] Teatral’nny Proyezd , Moscow
[00:19:44] Former second-class entrance pavilion, Odessa Station (and below)
Photograph and Station information from viknaodessa
[00:19:48] Main entrance to Odessa Station
Late 19thC postcard of the station entrance on Pryvokzal’na Square (courtesy of dumskaya.net).
This magnificent station was rebuilt by the City Architect Alexander Bernadazzi in 1884 covering a huge area of the city. The entrances were strictly hierarchical: First Class passengers could only use the entrance above, Second Class had the entrance with the wrought iron canopy in [00:19:44], and Third Class had an entrance off the Old Town Square. The ruling family had its own Imperial entrance pavilion to avoid mixing with its subjects. The station was totally destroyed during WW2.
[00:19:54] Mikhail Kaufman in the camera car at the station end of Pushkins’ka, Odessa
Early 20thC postcard view of Pushkins’ka from Pryvokzal’na Square, with the spire of St Elijah’s Monastery on the right.
Current view of Pushkins’ka [Google Earth]
Pushkins’ka Street was the location of the camera car and carriage/car sequences as two large distinctive buildings that still exist on side streets are clearly visible part way through the sequence. Unlike the other long avenue leading from Pryvokzal’na Square there are no trams so the camera car could travel along the middle of the road alongside its subjects. There is a brief scene of the camera car turning a corner into the other avenue where you can see a tram emerging. Pushkins’ka is a very long street allowing plenty of time for the filming, as you can clearly see from the screenshots.
[00:19:57] Cars and horse drawn cabs in Pryvokzal’na Square, Odessa.
[00:20:01] MK in camera car in Pryvokzal’na Square.
[00:20:05] Odessa Station entrance.
[00:20:10] [00:20:16] MK in camera car in Pryvokzal’na Square.
[00:20:30] MK and camera car on Pushkins’ka.
[00:20:41] MK and camera car on Pushkins’ka.
[00:20:50] Ladies in cab on Pushkins’ka.
[00:20:52] Car and passengers on Pushkins’ka (the same car as [00:19:57].
[00:20:58] MK and camera car on Pushkins’ka.
[00:21:04] 2nd car and passengers on Pushkins’ka.
This is the imposing Italian Gothic Revival building of the Odessa Philharmonic Theatre glimpsed behind the car above, on the former Rosa Luxembourg Street, off Pushkins’ka. Designed to resemble the Doge’s Palace in Venice, it was built as a stock exchange in 1894 .
[00:21:11] MK and camera car on Pushkins’ka.
[00:21:13] 2nd cab with two ladies on Pushkins’ka (one imitating the cameraman!).
[00:21:19] MK and camera car on Pushkins’ka (the building below on Troitska Street is behind – the balconies have disappeared!).
Current view of building in background of screenshot above
[00:21:42] ‘Frozen’ street view. Location not found.
[00:21:49] ‘Frozen’ view of the north end of Khreschatyk, Kiev.
Early 1900s view of the north end of Khreschatyk. The buildings are much the same except for the end of a large new building spoiling the street on the lhs of the screenshot.
Current view of the north end of Khreschatyk [Google Earth, photograph by Nikolay Omelchenko]. Nothing much is left of the old street thanks to its destruction by the retreating Red Army in WW2. Much of the re-building after the war was in the usual Stalinist neo-classical style as can be seen here. The main square of Kiev, the Maidan, is just past the bend in the street ahead.
[00:23:16] ‘Frozen’ North end of Khreschatyk.
[00:23:18] North end of Khreschatyk, crowds in motion.
[00:23:33] Two women in a carriage, Odessa. Exact street not found.
[00:23:40] Views of streets behind horses head, Odessa. From previous shots presumably around Pushkins’ka, but not verified.
[00:23:43] Two more ladies in a carriage, Odessa. Presumably around Pushkins’ka, but not verified.
[00:23:53] Carriage and women outside a house in Odessa. Exact location not found.
[00:24:08] Mikhail Kaufman with Debrie Interview camera and tripod walking in a street. Location not found.
[00:24:13] Carriage outside a house in Odessa. Exact location not found.
[00:24:20] Theatre and Revolution Squares, Moscow (taken from the top floor of the Bolshoi Theatre). This is a view to the left of the one in screen shot [00:13:21]
Old postcard of the opposite view, Revolution Square with 1827 Petrovsky Fountain (Moscow’s oldest) in the foreground. The layout of the squares has changed considerably, but the fountain is still in place.
Current aerial view of Theatre and Revolution Squares. The Bolshoi Theatre is at the bottom of the picture. The beautiful Art Nouveau Metropol Hotel is on the left. Sadly, most of the area is now taken up by parking [Google Earth].
[00:24:27] Presumed entrance to the Bolshoi Theatre (poster advertising operas on the left). Not verified.
[00:24:33] Corner of Theatre Square, Moscow. Metropol Hotel in the background, Maly Theatre on the lhs. This is a view to the left of the one in screen shot [00:24:20].
Current view of the same corner. Maly Theatre on the left, Metropol Hotel in the background [Google Earth].
The Maly Theatre (literally ‘Small Theatre’ in contrast to the ‘Bolshoi’) has been in this building since 1824. One of the leading classical theatres of Europe it also operates the Shchepkin Theatre School, Moscow’s oldest.
The Metropol is one of Europe’s greatest Grand Hotels. Opened in 1905 in a beautiful Art Nouveau style building designed by the Scottish-Russian architect William Walcot its central stained glass vaulted dining room must one of the most spectacular places in the world to have breakfast (from personal experience!). From a balcony in this room the great Russian bass Fyodor Shalyapin sang and Vladimir Lenin declaimed. After the Revolution the Metropol was used for government offices and then returned to being a deluxe hotel as the Bolsheviks realised that foreign visitors would expect something better than the average post-revolution Moscow hotel!
[00:24:41] Close up of the traffic policeman at the signal in Kuznetsky Most, Moscow.
[00:24:48] Telephoto view of Revolution Square taken from the Bolshoi.
[00:24:55] [00:25:13] [00:25:20] [00:25:34] [00:27:06] The camera overlooks Khreschatyk street, Kiev. I am, so far, unable to locate a tall building where the camera (s) could have been placed to take this high level sequence. The depth of field (ie the camera is in focus as well as the background) is impressive!
[00:26:04] Split screen view of Moscow street and trams. Location not found.
[00:26:18] Tverskaya Street corner.
[00:27:01] Funeral procession, Odessa (clothes and street are clues). Location not found.
[00:27:08} Marriage and dusty street, Odessa? Location not found.
[00:27:28] Car procession, Odessa (clothes and French style buildings are clues). Location not found.
[00:27:43] [00:27:52] [00:27:58] MK filming in a double (triple?) exposure of angled buildings. Both buildings still exist on Strilets’ka Street in Kiev .
[00:28:05] [00:28:22] [00:28:35] Okhotny Ryad, Moscow.
[00:28:09 on] Interior of a building with a lift and reception desk. Location unknown.
[00:28:47] [00:28:59] Teatral’nyy Projzed, Moscow.
[00:28:51 on] Multiple shots of the shadow of the glass entrance door seen at the beginning of the film [00:07:25]. Location unknown.
[00:29:09] Tram passing balloons (same tram as in [01:02:00]?). Location unknown.
[00:29:14] Double exposure of Okhotny Ryad, Moscow.
[00:29:24] Camera in a tram (?) careering around a corner, Moscow. Location not found.
[00:29:28] Speeded up traffic in Teatral’nyy Projzed, Moscow.
[00:29:33] to [00:29:52] Fast montage sequence starting with the front of a Kiev tram (white panel on the front), with an eye looking over various street scenes. Difficult to verify locations, but several of Kiev and Moscow are repeated from previous shots.
[00:29:54] Ambulance sequence, Kiev. The screenshot shows the junction of Shevchenko Boulevard and Comintern Street (the building on the corner still exists, below) .
[00:30:55] Fire engine sequence, Odessa (on sign above doors).
The Odessa Fire Brigade is still in the same building over 90 years later! On the same street as the Philharmonic Theatre in [00:21:04] .
[00:31:10] to [00:32:05] Ambulance and fire engine speeding through the streets sequence. A wonderful example of ‘Creative Geography’ as these scenes are set in two different cities but edited to look like the streets of one. The ambulance driver squeezing the rubber bulb of his horn regularly instead of a siren is a period touch!
[00:33:49] Apartment buildings shot from a moving vehicle. Location not found.
[00:32:18] Traffic policeman with signal, MK with camera, on Kuznetsky Most, Moscow.
[00:32:26] ‘Paris Specialist Cleaner’ shoeshine booth, Odessa? MK is wearing his white Odessa shirt but exact location not found.
[00:33:40 on] Hairdressing and manicure sequences. Unknown location(s).
[00:34:25 on] Industrial activity scenes. Unknown location(s).
[00:34:38] Traffic policeman, Kuznetsky Most, Moscow
[00:36:41] Coal mine in the Donbass (Rutchenkovo or Lidievka).
[00:37:33] Donbass or Kamianske steelworks interior – a spectacular sequence of industrial images!
Typical contemporary Donbass scene of coke ovens (lhs), coal mine (rhs) and steelworks blast furnaces (background).
[00:38:48] [00:38:59] [00:39:07] [00:39:10] Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant, near Leningrad.
[00:39:20] [00:39:31] [00:39:42] [00:39:53] [00:40:00] [00:40:07] [00:40:17] MK and assistant in a suspended platform over the Volkhov Dam.
The Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant (Волховская ГEС) is on the river of the same name near to Lake Ladoga in the Leningrad Oblast (County). Opened in 1926 (but actually a pre-revolutionary design) and named after VI Lenin, it is the oldest hydroelectric plant still operating in Russia.
Current view of the dam and generating building taken from a similar position [fotostrana].
Contemporary poster celebrating Lenin’s electrification plans featuring the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant.
[00:40:20] Split screen scene of trams in Moscow. Top is of Okhotny Ryad. Bottom location not found.
[00:41:02] Kuznetsky Most, Moscow? Not verified.
[00:41:09] Kuznetsky Most, Moscow. MK with Kinamo camera.
[00:41:14] Kuznetsky Most, Moscow. MK with Kinamo and Debrie Parvo cameras.
[00:41:18] As above, except just the Kinamo.
[00:41:19] As above, except the Parvo on a spreadeagled tripod without the cameraman.
[00:41:24 and on] MK with Debrie camera on Teatral’nyy Projzed, Moscow.
[00:41:33] Split screen scene of trams in Moscow. Top is of Okhotny Ryad. Bottom location not found.
[00:42:50] Park Bridge, Kiev.
[00:42:54 and on] Arcadia Beach, Odessa.
[01:03:50] A wider view of the beach from the rapid montage sequence at the end of the film – note the building at the top right, and below, which was a spa and hydrotherapy centre and is now a hotel.
A quieter Arcadia Beach in the early 20thC.
Information and photographs above from viknaodessa
The building still exists as a hotel [Google Earth – photograph by Wazza Production].
Current view of Arcadia Beach. The former hydrotherapy centre is marked with an arrow.[Google Earth – photograph by Sergii Kushnarov].
Named after an idyllic area of Greece to encourage visitors, Arcadia Beach was Odessa’s main seaside resort in the late 1920s, and still is. On the outskirts of the city, connected by tram, it was very popular from the start of its development at the end of the 19thC. There were restaurants, cafes, warm sea baths, a spa and hydrotherapy clinic, sanatoriums, and ‘a polyclinic with electro-mechano-therapeutic rooms’ which sounds intimidating! Next to the beach there was a pleasant seafront park with the inevitable monument to VI Lenin.
[00:43:34 on] Swimming and exercises, Odessa Port (see also [00:47:00] on). Confirmed by Yevgeny Volokin because of the distinctive iron mooring bollard.
[00:43:41 on] Conjuror and children sequences. Unknown location (Graham Roberts says that this sequence is from Vertov’s ‘Kino Glaz’ film series of 1924 and 1925 (ref: ‘The Man with the Movie Camera’, the Film Companion series, IB Tauris, 2000, p80).
[00:43:57] Carousel (the same one as sequence [00:52:18]?). Location not found.
[00:44:43 on] Athletics sequence, Odessa. The seating is similar to that seen in later sports sequences (see [00:51:02]).
[00:46:32 on] Trotting (Harness racing) at Odessa Hippodrome which still exists!
[00:46:40 on] Horse riding, presumably also at Odessa Hippodrome. Not verified.
[00:47:00 on] Diving, exercising, and swimming at Odessa Port (the harbour, not a swimming pool!). The diving tower was located in the yacht club .
[00:47:49 on] Mud and sun bathing at Kuyal’nik resort, near Odessa.
A perfect example of ‘Creative Geography’: the impression of a journey by sea is given from the travel agent’s window advertising passage from Odessa to Yalta on the ‘Lenin’ [00:17:51] and the ship leaving port [00:42:30].
The ‘Man with the Camera’ disembarks [00:48:16], and then goes on to a beach with his camera [00:48:49]. The resort is actually on a land-locked shallow salt lagoon a few km by road from the centre of Odessa! The ship then returns to the city ‘after the holiday’ at the beginning of reel 6 [00:53:30].
[00:48:45 on] [00:50:04 on] Exercise machines at Kuyal’nik Sanatorium? Not verified.
[00:48:49} MK walks across the beach at Kuyal’nik
The same view today with the ruins of the pier from the Sanatorium in the background (Google Earth – photograph by Vladimir Percentenko).
Late 19thC postcard showing the Kuyal’nik Sanitorium in its heyday.
Current Google Earth images showing the derelict Sanatorium and remains of its pier.
[00:50:14] Disembodied weight lifter, Kuyal’nik? Not verified.
[00:51:02] Netball sequence at the ‘Red Stadium’ in Kiev.
Overall view of the stadium with a ‘human chess’ event! The netball would have been played at the top left judging by the large building on the lhs in the background and in the screenshot which was on Zhilyanska Street, since demolished for the Olympic Stadium .
[00:51:26] Football (part) and athletics sequences, Odessa. The sports ground can be located as in one of the frames there is a glimpse of a nearby church and churchyard which is St John of Kronstadt, unrecognisable today from the beautiful building below right. The spectator seating below left can be seen in the athletics and some of the shots of the football match. It isn’t clear if the rest of the match is being filmed in the stadium.
The sports ground still exists, called Dynamo. The church is just above the rh end [Google Earth].
[00:52:13 on] Motor cycles on a track. The banked part of the track is sometimes seen in a triple horizontal exposure ([00:52:41] check the broken concrete line!) to give the impression it was wider and there were more ‘competitors’. I have not yet found the location of this track which is surprising as there weren’t many purpose built banked race tracks at that time. It is actually in a derelict condition (rh image below [00:52:21]) which implies it was old in the late 1920s. It is too narrow for a motor racing circuit compared to Brooklands in Surrey (UK) for example. It could be one of two early velodromes (cycle racing tracks) in Kiev. The later one seems to have been in use at the time of the film (location map below) but I cannot find any record of the first one built at Bibikovsky Boulevard in 1899. For comparison there was a similar velodrome in Odessa (lh below) but this was built in 1929. Mykhailo Kalnytsky, who knows more about the history of Kiev than anyone, does not know of any early photographs of the velodromes, or much of their history. Investigations continue!
1925 location map (Kiev Public Utilities Department #311) of the second (1913) Kiev Velodrome which has been restored and is in use again. The diagonal road at the bottom is Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street [map courtesy of M. Kalnytsky].
[00:52:17 on] Carousel sequences, in Odessa judging by the clothing. Exact location not found. The carousel is actually ‘mirrored’ in parts of this sequence (as in this screenshot – the camera is the wrong way around!). Perhaps for artistic reasons to contrast with the motor cycles going around the track in the opposite direction?
[00:53:37] Prymorskyi Boulevard, Odessa. Views over the Port.
[00:53:48] Proletarian Cinema, (later Beaumonde [Бомонд] Cinema), October Revolution Square, Odessa .
[00:53:54] Giant camera overlooking Sofiys’ka Square, Kiev (see screenshot [00:05:45]).
[00:55:00} ‘Drunken’ views over a candle shop and church (former St Elijah’s Monastery) converted into a workers’ club, Pushkins’ka Street, Odessa.
Current view of St Elijah’s Monastery, beautifully restored, with a religious scene over the gates instead of Lenin!
[00:55:37] Rifle range. Location not found.
[00:56:22] Drinks shop, Kiev (city name on fascia). An example of private enterprise during the NEP era. Exact location not found.
[00:56:29] Lenin Club, No. 19 Ivana Franka Street, Kiev .
The well restored building is now occupied by the Ministry of Culture.
[00:58:25] Audience in Shantser Cinema, Kiev.
[00:58:28 on] Stop motion tripod and camera action. Location not found.
[00:59:31] [00:59:39] [01:00:22] Shantser Cinema, Kiev.
[01:00:28] [01:00:36] [01:00:44] Split screen sequence of Okhotny Ryad, Moscow.
[01:01:20] MK and Indian motorcycle on screen in the Shantser Cinema (and on the track).
[01:01:32] [01:01:44] Multi exposure and split screen images of crowds. Unknown locations.
[01:01:53] A carriage turning in the street, Odessa. Pushkins’ka? Not verified.
[01:02:00] Moscow tram passing through Strastnaya Square (Leningradskaya on headboard).
[01:02:08] City street scene, cars and people, Strastnaya Square, Moscow. Strastnoy Monastery and corner of Izvestia building in the background.
Two expensive recently imported cars filmed speeding through the square – perhaps a commentary on the NEPmen’s extravagance? A French Amilcar sports car is on the left, and an English Crossley Tourer with what looks like a chauffeur!
This photograph shows the Strastnoy Monastery entrance tower covered up with an advert for AVTODOR, the state body tasked with improving roads and ‘Automobilism’ in the Soviet Union, set up in 1927. Deliberate disrespect for the religious institution, and even less at night! (photograph courtesy of MosDay.ru).
[01:02:40] Shantser Cinema, Kiev
[01:02:44] Triple (?) exposure of MK and cameras over crowds. Unknown location, but the same view as screenshot [01:05:15].
[01:02:53] The best known image in the film – the Bolshoi Theatre and squares split in the middle!
[01:03:11] Shantser Cinema, Odessa carriages on the screen
[01:03:15 on] Rapid-fire montage of MK in a car speeding through Odessa on the screen and on the street; shots of speeding carriages; Revolution Square, Moscow; Park Bridge, Kiev; aeroplanes and trains; Arcadia Beach, Odessa; Khreschatyk, Kiev (and an image of it ‘splitting’); unknown streets and squares in Kiev (?); the car procession in Odessa; film editing; Teatral’nyy Proyezd, Moscow; unknown crowded street and trams [01:05:15] (the same as in [01:02:44]); MK carrying camera; the cinema audience; the No. 7 Kiev tram; the last image of the film being the camera iris ‘Eye’ closing.
Map extracts from Google Maps (see introduction for acknowledgement of copyright).
MOSCOW FILMING LOCATIONS
Kuznetsky Most, Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre and Revolution Squares, Teatral’nyy Proyezd, Okhotny Ryad, Tverskaya, Strastnaya Square, Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, Novo-Sukharevsky Market.
KIEV FILMING LOCATIONS
Khreschatyk, Sofiys’ka Square, Park Bridge, Red Stadium (netball), Lenin Club.
ODESSA FILMING LOCATIONS
Prymorskyi Boulevard (at the top of Primorskyi Stairs aka Potemkin Stairs), Port, Station and Pryvokzal’na Square, Pushkins’ka street, Tram Depot, Sports Ground, Arcadia Beach, Kuyal’nik Resort.