Ivan Mozzhukhin’s Acting Style

Beyond the Kuleshov Effect

in Projections
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Copenhagen johriis@hum.ku.dk
Restricted access

Abstract

While the Russian film actor Ivan Mozzhukhin has been recognized by film scholars such as Jean Mitry as one of the important actors of the silent screen the nature of his contributions has gone unexplained and, ironically, Mozzhukhin is perhaps best remembered for a lost experiment, presumably carried out by Lev Kuleshov around 1920, that showed how the editor can construct character emotions with shots of contextual objects. The historical record and scientific attempts to replicate the experiment indicate that we need to pay attention to Mozzhukhin’s role as performer and my study of his performances suggests that we may have to rethink long-held assumptions about the relationship between performer expressiveness and editing.

Contributor Notes

Johannes Riis is an Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He has published extensively on issues of film acting, including a monograph (Spillets kunst: Følelser i film), articles in numerous journals and anthologies, including Cinema Journal, Projections, and The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film. A member of the Board of Directors at The Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image since 2005, he is currently writing a book on film acting styles between 1920 and 1980. Email: johriis@hum.ku.dk

Projections

The Journal for Movies and Mind

  • Abel, Richard. 1984. French Cinema: The First Wave, 1915–1929. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Albéra, François. 1995. Albatros: Des russes à Paris, 1919–1929. Paris: Cinémathèque française.

  • Balázs, Béla. 1999. “The Face of Man.” In Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, ed. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, 306311. New York: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barratt, Daniel, Anna C. Redei, Aase Innes-Ker, and Joost van de Weijer. 2016. “Does the Kuleshov Effect Really Exist? Revisiting a Classic Film Experiment on Facial Expressions and Emotional Contexts.” Perception 45 (8): 847874. doi:10.1177/0301006616638595.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bordwell, David. 1997. On the History of Film Style. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Bordwell, David, Kristin Thompson, and Jeff Smith. 2016. Film Art: An Introduction. 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

  • Brewster, Ben, and Lea Jacobs. 1997. Theatre to Cinema: Stage Pictorialism and Early Film. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Bulgakowa, Oksana. 2005. “The ‘Russian Vogue’ in Europe and Hollywood: The Transformation of Russian Stereotypes through the 1920s.” The Russian Review 64 (2): 211235.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Calbi, Marta, Katrin Heimann, Daniel Barratt, Francesca Siri, M. Alessandra Umiltà, and Vittorio Gallese. 2017. “How Context Influences Our Perception of Emotional Faces: A Behavioral Study on the Kuleshov Effect.” Frontiers in Psychology 8 (1684). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01684.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carroll, Noël. 1993. “Toward a Theory of Point-of-View Editing: Communication, Emotion, and the Movies.” Poetics 14 (1): 123141.

  • Dixon, Thomas. 2003. From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ekman, Paul. 1992. “Facial Expressions of Emotion: New Findings, New Questions.” Psychological Science 3 (1): 3438.

  • Ekman, Paul, E. Richard Sorenson, and Wallace V. Friesen. 1969. “Pan-Cultural Elements in Facial Displays of Emotion.” Science 164 (3875): 8688. doi:10.1126/science.164.3875.86.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frijda, Nico H. 1986. The Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Frits, Erik. 2015. “The Kuleshov Effect: Understanding Video Editing’s Most Powerful Tool.” Videomaker, 21 July. https://www.videomaker.com/article/c10/18236-the-kuleshov-effect-understanding-video-editing’s-most-powerful-tool.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kehr, Dave. 2013. “Russians Dreaming in French, French Masterworks: Russian Émigrés in Paris 1923–1928.” New York Times, 7 June. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/movies/homevideo/french-masterworks-russian-emigres-in-paris-1923-1928.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kepley, Jr, Vance. 1992. “Mr. Kuleshov in the Land of the Modernists.” In The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema, ed. Anna Lawton, 132147. New York: Taylor & Francis.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Knox, Alexander, and Anthony Slide. 1998. On Actors and Acting. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press.

  • Kuleshov, Lev V. 1974. Kuleshov on Film: Writings of Lev Kuleshov. Trans. Ronald Levaco. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Mayer, David. 1999. “Acting in the Silent Film: Which Legacy of the Theatre?” In Screen Acting, ed. Alan Lovell and Peter Krämer, 1030. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mitry, Jean. 1969. Ivan Mosjoukine: 1889–1939. Paris: Avant-Scène du Cinéma.

  • Mobbs, Dean, Nikolaus Weiskopf, Hakwan C. Lau, Eric Featherstone, Ray J. Dolan, and Chris D. Frith. 2006. “The Kuleshov Effect: The Influence of Contextual Framing on Emotional Attributions.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 1 (2): 95106. doi:10.1093/scan/nsl014.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Naremore, James. 1988. Acting in the Cinema. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Nussinova, Natalia. 1996. “The Soviet Union and the Russian Émigrés.” In The Oxford History of World Cinema, ed. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, 162174. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pearson, Roberta E. 1992. Eloquent Gestures: The Transformation of Performance Style in the Griffith Biograph Films. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Polan, Dana. 1986. “The ‘Kuleshov Effect’ Effect.” Iris 4 (1): 95106.

  • Prince, Stephen, and Wayne E. Hensley. 1992. “The Kuleshov Effect: Recreating the Classic Experiment.” Cinema Journal 31 (2): 5975. doi:10.2307/1225144.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pudovkin, Vsevolod. 1954. Film Technique and Film Acting. Trans. Ivor Montagu. London: Vision.

  • Riis, Johannes. 2004. “Naturalist and Classical Styles in Early Sound Film Acting.” Cinema Journal 43 (3): 317.

  • Riis, Johannes. 2017. “Communicative Functions of Performer Expressiveness and Their Artistic and Aesthetic Aspects: Analysis of a Scene from Smiles of a Summer Night.” Projections 11 (2): 5066.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stanislavsky, Konstantin. 1949. Building a Character. Trans. Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood. New York: Theatre Arts Books.

  • Tsivian, Yuri. 1991. “Early Russian Cinema: Some Observations.” In Early Russian Cinema: Some Observations, ed. Richard Taylor and Ian Christie, 730. London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tsivian, Yuri. 1994. Early Cinema in Russia and Its Cultural Reception. Trans. Alan Bodger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Tsivian, Yuri. 1996. “The Wise and Wicked Game: Re-editing and Soviet Film Culture of the 1920s.” Film History 8 (3): 327343.

  • Tsivian, Yuri. 2013. “New Notes on Russian Film Culture between 1908 and 1919.” In The Russian Cinema Reader: 1908 to the Stalin Era, ed. Rimgaila Salys, 3242. Boston: Academic Studies Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tsivian, Yuri, Kristin Thompson, and Ekaterina Khoklova. 1996. “The Rediscovery of a Kuleshov Experiment: A Dossier.” Film History 8 (3): 357367.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yampolsky, Mikhail. 1991. “Kuleshov’s Experiments and the New Anthropology of the Actor.” In Inside the Film Factory: New Approaches to Russian and Soviet Cinema, ed. Richard Taylor and Ian Christie, 3150. London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yampolsky, Mikhail. 1994. “Mask Face and Machine Face.” TDR-The Drama Review 38 (3): 6074.

  • Youngblood, Denise J. 1999. The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 1908–1918. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 68 68 21
Full Text Views 16 16 1
PDF Downloads 24 24 0