By the Law / Po zakonu
Lev Kulešov, USSR, 1926.
Directed by: Lev Kulešov
Script: Viktor Šklovski, Lev Kulešov
Production company: Goskino
Cinematography: Konstantin Kuznjecov
Cast: Aleksandra Hohlova, Sergej Komarov, Vladimir Fogel, Pjotr Galadžev, Porfirij Podobed
Running time: 80'
Three men, one couple, one dog; all searching for gold on the banks of the Yukon, the home of the gold rush. Everything runs smoothly at first, then Dennin suddenly shoots two of the prospectors. And then there were three. Nelson and his wife Edith subdue the murderer. The corpses are taken away and buried; Dennin is tied up in the cabin and kept under constant guard. Occasionally they draw closer, like on Edith’s birthday. No explanations. A deathly silence reigns day after day. None can leave, as the ice and snow have begun to melt, flooding the Klondike Fields. 'By the Law' was the cheapest film ever produced in Russia (perhaps even to this day); at the same time it is an absolute masterpiece, the greatness of which stems from its very minimalism. The minimum amount of effort required for story development, a minimum number of characters (just three for most of the film), a bare minimum of inter-titles and lines of dialogue, and just two locations (a clearing not far from Moscow,posing as ‘Alaska’, and a cabin—the perfect setting for a stripped-tobasics chamber play).
Lev Kuleshov (1899-1970, Tambov) studied art in Moscow. When the Russian revolution began in 1917 he joined the Bolshevik army and covered the war with a documentary crew. Afterwards he started teaching at a film school. Among his students were Eisenstein and Pudovkin. He continued to make films and introduced editing techniques for which he is still widely known.
Location and screening schedule: ZAGREB DANCE CENTER, Monday, October 17th at 18.00