Vsevolod Pudovkin

Vsevolod Pudovkin

Birth
Penza, Penza Oblast, Russia
Death 30 Jun 1953 (aged 60)
Jurmala, Jūrmala, Riga, Latvia
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Plot Section 2, Row 39, Grave 20
Memorial ID 25108882 · View Source
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Motion Picture Director, Theorist, Actor. A seminal figure of the early Soviet Cinema. Along with directors Lev Kuleshov and Sergei Eisenstein, Pudovkin was the most influential developer of the "montage theory" of motion picture editing. He helped define this technique in his "revolutionary trilogy" of silent era masterpieces, "Mother" (1926), "The End of St. Petersburg" (1927), and "Storm Over Asia" (1928). Vsevolod Illarionovich Pudovkin was born in Penza, Russia, and raised in Moscow, where he studied chemistry and physics. He joined the Russian artillery at the start of World War I, was wounded in action and subsequently spent three years in a German POW camp, from which he escaped in early 1918. Returning to Moscow, he was drawn to the cinema by a screening of D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance" (1916). Following initial training at the State Institute of Film (VGIK), Pudovkin entered the "laboratory studio" of Lev Kuleshov in 1922 and quickly established himself as his teacher's most brilliant pupil, serving as his assistant director, co-screenwriter, and actor in the films "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks" (1924) and "The Death Ray" (1925). Kuleshov was the first to develop the theory of montage cutting, which explored how individual shots in a film could be arranged to elicit different emotional and intellectual responses; and beginning with "Mother", his first feature as solo director, Pudovkin used montage as a means of reinterpreting traditional narrative and characterization. In that film recurring shots of ice breaking in a frozen river symbolize the coming revolution; in the famous "War Zone" sequence in "The End of St. Petersburg", WWI battle footage is intercut with scenes of investors storming a stock exchange to watch their war profits climb. The climactic hurricane in "Storm Over Asia" is superimposed over swarming revolutionary hordes. Pudovkin is usually compared to Eisenstein in his methods, but while both were propagandists, Pudovkin was essentially a storyteller and his earthy, dynamic style makes a direct appeal to audiences. Of the two he probably had the more pervasive impact on mainstream movies. He set down his ideas in the books "Film Technique" (1926) and "Film Acting" (1926), which have been translated into several languages. Perhaps because the manipulation of images was so essential to his art, Pudovkin never really came to grips with sound. He made a game attempt at audiovisual montage in his first talkie, "Deserter" (1933); only this and the historical biopic "Suvorov" (1941) compare favorably with his silent classics. Compounding his difficulties were the creative restrictions imposed on him in the 1930s by Stalin's bureacrats, and his later films are dishearteningly mediocre. Among his other credits are the two-reel comedy "Chess Fever" (1925), the documentary "Mechanics of the Brain" (1926), "A Simple Case" (1931), "Victory" (1938), "Minin and Pozharsky" (1939), "The Murderers Are Coming" (1942), "Admiral Nakhimov" (1946), "Zhukovsky" (1951), and "Vasili's Return" (1952). In 1935 Pudovkin was seriously injured in a car crash that killed his longtime screenwriter and friend, Nathan Zarkhi; he began teaching at the VGIK during his convalescence and joined the Mosfilm Studio in 1938. He also continued to play small roles in films and was cast by Eisenstein as the Holy Fool in "Ivan the Terrible, Part I" (1944). Pudovkin was a two-time recipient of the Order of Lenin, in 1935 and 1953.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 6 Mar 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 25108882
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vsevolod Pudovkin (28 Feb 1893–30 Jun 1953), Find a Grave Memorial no. 25108882, citing Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .