My Favourite Film of 1918.

Film The Kuleshov Effect is the editing technique in which the same shot of a person's blank face can be used to react to numerous objects or actions because the viewer will fill in the emotional response themselves. Or to let Hitchcock explain:

The technique was first expressed by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in the 1910s and 1920s and pioneered by Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov and later Hitchcock and the French New Wave directors notably Truffaut.

It's one of the reasons when we talk about best actor in any film we're always on slightly shaky ground because we're never entirely sure how much of what we're attributing to a great performance is due to the intervention of the editor or director (although to be fair they have to have the raw materials to work with in the first place not that Oscar voters are basing their decisions on the rushes).

The original film has apparently been lost although there are a couple of authenticity claims here and here but YouTube is filled with recreations and further experiments from film students.

Arguably the best expressions of the effect are in the alternative endings sections of a number of dvds in which original material shot during principle photography is married to pick-ups to create a different conclusion, in some cases to the point that the motivations for a character's actions are change completely from the back end.

Taken 3 offers a particularly egregious example of this.  Incredibly in the original version of that film, the unfortunate incident didn't take place and whole sections were reshot to give Byan Mills a completely different reason to kill all the bad people at the end, and while whole chunks of the scenes leading up the hand to hand combat were redone, barely anything in the final heist was changed.

Although I clearly don't know whether Kuleshov made a version of his film in 1918, I wanted to simply notice how, despite developments in new technology, some of the principles of filmmaking originally established nearly a hundred years ago are still being utilised, albeit in slightly more sophisticated ways.

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