The Soviet film director Lev Kuleshov has not been historically associated with animation, and yet his legacy includes: an article on animation published in the Soviet central specialized newspaper Kino Gazeta; a film, a substantial part of which is animated; as well as a text of four lectures preserved in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI). In the lectures that he delivered to animators at the Soviet central animation studio Soiuzmul’tfil’m, he repurposes his theories of montage and acting for the needs of the medium of animation. Analyzing these materials, with the primary focus on the lectures, this article introduces Kuleshov’s contribution to animation theory and production, and suggests that Kuleshov’s legacy not only sheds light on the historically specific situation in animation production characteristic for the Soviet Union in the 1930s, but also facilitates a deeper understanding of the animated image as a phenomenon.
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