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 Lev Kulidzhanov


Born:   19 March 1924
Deceased:   16 February 2002

Well-known Soviet film director

      

Lev Aleksandrovich Kulidzhanov was born on March 19, 1924 in Tiflis (Tbilisi) into the family of Armenian officials. His father, an important party worker, was arrested in November, 1937 and perished under obscure circumstances. Lev’s mother was also subjected to repression and sent to a labor camp in December, 1937. 
 
So Lev stayed with his grandmother. He spent his youth in Tbilisi. It was a hard wartime. Young Kulidzhanov early became fond of art and, in particular, theater. 
 
In school amateur performances he showed himself as a playwright, stage director and actor. These hobbies determined his vocational choice; he entered VGIK (All-Union Institute of Cinematography) in Moscow, where he studied under S.A.Gerasimov. After graduation in 1955 Lev Kulidzhanov started to work as a film director at the Gorky Film Studio. 
 
He directed his first two films This is How it Started and The House in Which I Live in co-authorship with Jacob Segel. Two years later, in 1959, his next film Native Home was released. The film got wide press response, which was favourable and deep, doing justice to its merits. This was followed by Native Home, Lost Photo, When the Trees Were Tall… The last film made its way both to the history of cinema and remained in memory of film lovers. Kulidzhanov himself loved this film most of all of his works. 
 
A master of fine psychological portrayal, he remained true to his manner in this film also. Good taste and keen sense of proportion kept him away from the dangers of running into sentimentality or farce. 
 
From 1963 to 1964 he headed the chief department of art cinematography of Goskino USSR. In 1964 he became the chairman of Organizing Committee of the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR. In 1965 he was elected the first secretary of the board of the Cinematographers’ Union and remained on this post till 1986. In 1986 after the 5th Congress of the Union of Cinematographers he quitted it. Till 1989 he worked as the art director of the film epic 20th Century. 
 
Lev Kulidzhanov died on February 16, 2002.


Tags: Lev Kulidzhanov Russian Film Directors Soviet Cinema   




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