Time travel back to July 1928 in Odessa Ukraine. Film by Mikhail Kaufman. Now AI enhanced with neural network technology.
Extraordinary footage ( now with an immersive soundtrack and deep learning colorization and enhancement) , of fashionable men and women on vacation in Odessa in the summer of 1928. Scenes include Pushkinska Street and Arcadia beach on the shores of the Black Sea.
The 1920s in Ukraine
The roaring 20s lifestyle was enjoyed by some of the more affluent. There was fashion, parties, bobbed hair, makeup and the eternal cloche hat. Just like in the West.
The position and roles of women in the USSR, in principle at least, were equal to men under the Soviet Constitution. However the reality for the vast majority of working class women in the former USSR was very different.
Originally shot in black & white at 24 fps for the landmark documentary Man with a Movie Camera. Filmed by Mikhail Kaufman, directed by Dziga Vertov and edited by Elizaveta Svilova.
Mikhail Kaufman – cinematographer
This AI enhanced edit – with an ambient immersive soundtrack, is a tribute to the stunning cinematography of Vertov’s largely overlooked brother Mikhail Kaufman. It is Kaufmann we see at regular intervals during Man with a Movie Camera – as the Cameraman!
Odessa Ukraine in the 1920s
The sequences shot by Kaufman represent some the most intimate footage that can be seen of ordinary people on film in the 1920s. I feel it justified an attempt to bring Kaufmans subjects – the people of Ukraine, now long dead, back to life through this immersive AI enhanced short film.
Kaufman was part of the ‘council of three’ working with his brother David (Dziga Vertov) and his sister in law Elizaveta Svilova on the newsreel series Kino-Pravda.
Kaufman himself filmed and directed two other films which were also edited by Elizaveta Svilova.
Moscow (1927) and In Spring (1929). Kaufmann and Vertov stopped working together because of creative differences. Kaufmann felt that Man with a Movie Camera was far too chaotic. He wanted his work to be a reflection of life.
In no way do I wish to detract from the documentary Man with a Movie Camera. It’s a silent masterpiece. If you have not already seen it, it now resides in the public domain and can be viewed on the Internet Archive as well as many other free streaming services.
Man with a Movie Camera
The documentary ( now in the public domain) was largely dismissed upon its initial release in 1929. Subsequently it was almost forgotten. But the British Film Institute’s 2012 film critics poll, voted Man with a Movie Camera the 8th greatest film ever made.
Elizaveta Svilova was a pioneer among modern film editors. She employed multiple exposures, fast and slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts and split screens. She literally wrote the textbook for modern film editing.
The documentary in its entirety depicts a single day in the lives of ordinary Soviet citizens, in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Moscow and on the shores of Odessa,a popular holiday spot. It has no actors.
Vertovs real name was David Kaufman. His brother Mikhail was not the only cinematographer in the family. Another brother – Boris Kaufman went on to fight the Nazis with the Free French. Later escaping to start a new life in the USA. He went on to win an Oscar for On the Waterfront! Now that’s a family of film makers for you!
День на пляжі в Україні 1920-х років | Одеса 1928
Україна в бурхливі 20-ті. Знято в Одесі в червні 1928 року Михайлом Кауфманом.
Модні пари катаються по вулиці Пушкінській в Одесі та відпочивають на пляжі Аркадія на березі Чорного моря.
You can also view 1920’s Flappers in USSR on this channel.