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Pudovkin, Vsevolod Illarionovich (1893–1953) By Eubanks, Ivan

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM342-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 18 March 2018, from


Vsevolod Pudovkin was a Soviet actor, director, and film theorist working during the first half of the 20th century. He studied chemistry at Moscow State University, and after fighting in World War I he enrolled at film school, only to quit in order to work as scriptwriter and assistant director to Lev Kuleshov. Like Kuleshov, Pudovkin believed editing to be the fundamental authorial act in filmmaking. He saw the shot, and the objects depicted therein, as raw materials with latent meaning that emerged only in the context provided by montage. For example, he would splice historical footage into his fictional films, as if it were part of his story, such as the shots of a real grandmaster in Chess Fever (1925), or of the pre-revolutionary stock exchange in The End of St. Petersburg (1927). He also strove to compose montages that would simulate the way the brain and the eye construct visual perceptions. Pudovkin’s silent films are the best-known applications of his theories, including those named above as well as Mother (1926), his adaptation of a novel by Maxim Gorky, and Heir to Genghis Khan (1928; also called Storm over Asia). His writings, especially Film Technique (1929) and Film Acting (1933) have proved to be very influential. In 1928 Pudovkin joined Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Alexanderov to write “A Statement on Sound.“

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Citing this article:

Eubanks, Ivan. "Pudovkin, Vsevolod Illarionovich (1893–1953)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 18 Mar. 2018 doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM342-1

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