Mikhail Kaufman

Cinematographer, Film director

1897 – 1980

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Who was Mikhail Kaufman?

Mikhail Abramovich Kaufman was a Russian cinematographer and photographer. He was the younger brother of filmmaker Dziga Vertov and the older brother of cinematographer Boris Kaufman.

He was born into a family of Jewish intellectuals living in Białystok in Grodno Governorate, at the time when the Białystok region was a part of the Russian Empire.

In 1920s, after Mikhail Kaufman returned from Russian Civil War, Vertov offered him to participate in his newsreel series Kino-Pravda as a cameraman.

Mikhail Kaufman directed photography for several films, including the 1929 Man with the Movie Camera. The film is built around meta-reference and is full of innovative visual effects: in it, Kaufman acts as a cameraman and is seen shooting the film while walking on high bridges, hanging off the side of a train, climbing a smokestack and crawling underground with miners – all in order to get the best shot. His brother's wife, Yelizaveta Svilova, was editor and part of the "Council of Three" who "proclaimed a 'death sentence' on the cinema that came before, faulting it for mixing in 'foreign matter' from theater and literature."

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Born
Sep 4, 1897
Białystok
Also known as
  • Mikhail Abramovich Kaufman
  • Michail Kaufman
Parents
Siblings
Ethnicity
  • Jewish people
  • Poles
Nationality
  • Soviet Union
Profession
Died
Mar 11, 1980
Moscow

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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