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By the Law

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Director: Lev Kuleshov

USSR, Drama, 1926, 82 min

Three men, one couple, one dog; all searching for gold on the banks of the Yukon. Everything runs smoothly, but then Dennin suddenly shoots two of the fellows. The remaining couple Nelson and Edith subdue the murderer. Dennin is tied up in a shack and kept under guard. Occasionally Edith draws closer to Dennin. By the Law can be called a formalist action film or a Western psychodrama: when it comes to taking styles and genre conventions, Kuleshov remains one of the first masters of them.

 
About the director:
 
Lev Kuleshov (1899–1970), who was born in Tambov, Russia, was a Soviet filmmaker and film theorist who taught at and helped to establish the world's first film school, now widely known as the Moscow State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). Most of Kuleshov’s films have been lost, but nonetheless he is considered an important contributor to cinema as a filmmaker, a theorist, and as the teacher of Eisenstein and Pudovkin. Kuleshov may well be one of the very first film theorists as he was a leader in Soviet montage theory – developing his first theories of
editing. For Kuleshov, the essence of 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 Experiment. In addition to his theoretical work, Kuleshov was an active director of feature-length films till 1943. From 1943 onwards, Kuleshov served as the academic rector of VGIK.
 
Section: Red Westerns

Screenplay: Viktor Shklovsky, Lev Kuleshov

Dir. of Photography: Konstantin Kuznetsov

Cast: Aleksandra Khokhlova, Sergei Komarov, Vladimir Fogel, Pyotr Galadzhev, Porfiri Podobed