Vertov dramatizes these acts with jazzy imagery that includes multiple exposures and animation. He films with a wild, expressive energy, panning rapidly with the swing-ing clapper of a bell and depicting electric wires as ecstatic striations of the sky. Rapid industrialization under a five-year plan is filmed with high-contrast, abstract flamboyance and audacious optical manipulations.
...Gradually, it becomes clear that the film will be shown close-circuit on a dozen sets, and one is free to pick whichever classroom and set one likes. Vertov’s first sound film, principally concerned with the spirited group effort by miners of the Don coal basin, is a lyrical articulation of the exhilaration of that effort – the fusion of isolated energies and personalities in a common force.
Rhythm is revealed as having a dual power: as a mobilizing, disciplinary force, as the inspiration for revolutionary enthusiasm, and as the regulator of new economies of movement. Vertov experiments with the associative potential of image and sound and how they can be mutually exchanged.