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Lev Kuleshov

Lev Kuleshov
Lev Kuleshov
Born Lev Vladimirovich Kuleshov
13 January [O.S. 1 January] 1899
Tambov, Russian Empire (now Russia)
Died 29 March 1970(1970-03-29) (aged 71)
Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia)
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1916 – 1943

Lev Vladimirovich Kuleshov (Russian: Лев Влади́мирович Кулешо́в; 13 January [O.S. 1 January] 1899 – 29 March 1970) was a Soviet filmmaker and film theorist who taught at and helped establish the world's first film school, the Moscow Film School.


  • Career 1
  • Filmography 2
  • Awards and honours 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Kuleshov may well be the very first film theorist as he was a leader in Soviet montage theory — developing his theories of editing before those of Sergei Eisenstein (briefly a student of Kuleshov) and Vsevolod Pudovkin. For Kuleshov, the essence of the cinema was editing, the juxtaposition of one shot with another. To illustrate this principle, he created what has come to be known as the Kuleshov Effect. In this now-famous editing exercise, shots of an actor were intercut with various meaningful images (a casket, a bowl of soup, and so on) in order to show how editing changes viewers' interpretations of images.

In addition to his theoretical work, Kuleshov was an active director of feature-length films until 1943. Since 1943 Kuleshov was serving as the academic rector of Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography.


Year English Title Russian Title Notes
1918 The Project of Engineer Prite Проект инженера Прайта
1919 An Unfinished Love Song Песнь любви недопетая
1920 On the Red Front На красном фронте short; film is lost
1924 The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks Необычайные приключения мистера Веста в стране большевиков
1925 The Death Ray Луч смерти
1926 Locomotive No. 10006 Паровоз No. 10006
1926 Po Zakonu По закону
1927 Your Acquaintance Ваша знакомая (Журналистка)
1929 The Merry Canary Веселая канарейка
1929 Two-Buldi-Two Два-бульди-два co-directed with Nina Agadzhanova
1931 Forty Hearts Сорок сердец
1932 The Horizon Горизонт
1933 The Great Consoler Великий утешитель
1934 Dokhunda Дохунда
1940 The Siberians Сибиряки
1941 Incident on a Volcano Случай в вулкане
1942 Timour's Oath Клятва Тимура
1943 We from the Urals Мы с Урала

Awards and honours


Further reading

  • Kuleshov, Lev. Kuleshov on Film, translated and edited, with an introduction by Ronald Levaco. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.

External links

  • Lev Kuleshov at the Internet Movie Database
  • An interview with Lev Kuleshov's grand-daughter, the film scholar Ekaterina Khokhlova. By Ana Olenina.
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