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 Lev Kuleshov

Born:   January 13 1899
Deceased:   March 29 1970

Soviet film director who stood at the beginnings of the Soviet cinema


Lev Vladimirovich Kuleshov was born on January 13, 1899 in Tambov. In 1916 he started to work in cinematography as a set dresser and assistant director. Kuleshov became interested in specifics of cinema as art, and was keen on American cinema. During the Civil War in 1918-1920 he directed shooting of documentaries at the frontlines. In 1919 Kuleshov founded an educational studio at the State Film School. In fact it was not a school, but an experimental studio, where teachers and students jointly looked for new approaches in cinema art, technologies of film shooting and editing. Kuleshov was the first to raise the question about the value of film cutting and its opportunities in creating the scene. He found out that the perception of a scene in a frame depends on what adjacent frames show. At the same time he tried to separate cinema from theater and create a new art form with new possibilities inherent in it. 
Lev Kuleshov emphasized the importance of the professional approach to cinema; on the basis of his experience he wrote the book The Fundamentals of Film Directing, which became a manual for lots of Soviet and foreign directors. Altogether Kuleshov directed 13 films, including The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924), By the Law (1926), based on the J London’s story The Unexpected, and The Great Consoler (1933) based on O’ Henry's biography. From 1939 Lev Kuleshov was the head of the film director's workshop in the VGIK. He was awarded the Lenin Order and the Order of the Labour Red Banner. 
Lev Kuleshov died in Moscow on March 29, 1970.

Tags: Lev Kuleshov Russian Film Directors    

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