Aleksandra Khokhlova

  • Lev Kuleshov – Neobychainye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane bolshevikov AKA The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924)

    1921-1930ComedyLev KuleshovSilentUSSR

    Mr. West was the first feature film that Kuleshov made with a team of actors who had attended his Experimental Cine-Laboratory. For four years, this group had been doing preparatory work as they planned to reform the art of cinema with an eye on montage. Yet, for a long time, their ideas remained dry theory, because the workshop lacked resources to make films. The focus of the Cine-Lab’s practice was on acting études. Details of scenes were story-boarded, photographed, or “framed” by special viewfinders in order to visualize how they might look in an edited film sequence. Thanks to these exercises, the notion of montage that Kuleshov developed was inextricably linked to his ideas on acting and shot composition. Read More »

  • Lev Kuleshov – Po zakonu AKA By the law (1926)

    1921-1930Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtDramaLev KuleshovSilentUSSR

    Barbara Wurm, Edition Filmmuseum wrote:
    Po zakonu (also know as Dura Lex) was the cheapest film produced in Russia (perhaps even still today); at the same time an absolute masterpiece, the greatness of which stems from its very minimalism. The minimum effort required for the story-development (Kuleshov constantly claimed, he happened upon Jack London’s story “The Unexpected” quite by chance), the minimum number of characters (just three for most of the film), a minimum of inter-titles and lines of dialogue, a minimum of locations; a clearing not far from Moscow (posing as “Alaska”) and a cabin–the perfect setting for a stripped-to-basics chamber play. Even if the juggling of shot composition and length (Kuleshov’s notorious “Americanism”) is not as artistically ambitious as in his previous work, it is still apparent how close-ups dominate inside, whilst outside, in the snowy landscapes and riverscapes, long shots reign, seemingly to the point of halting all movement.Read More »

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