Lev Kuleshov: The Extraordinary Aventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks
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It may seem unlikely that a manic satire of American ignorance about the Soviet Union was one of the first projects to emerge from the workshop of Russian film theoretician Lev Kuleshov. But The Extraordinary Aventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (Neobychaynyye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane bol’shevikov) proves Kuleshov’s ideas about the power of editing and montage, with its fast-paced, slapstick American-style comedy. Mr. West (Porfiri Podobed), a goofy YMCA executive in Harold Lloyd glasses and fur coat travels to Moscow with his cowboy sidekick/bodyguard Jeddy (Boris Barnet). Immediately Mr. West is separated from Jeddy and falls into the clutches of a motley group of thieves posing as Bolsheviks (including Vsevolod Pudovkin!). He is eventually rescued by real Bolsheviks and reunited with Jeddy—who in the meantime has fallen in love—and they take a sightseeing tour of Moscow (Moscow in the ’20s!) where American Mr. West finds that Soviets are not the barbarians he expected.
USSR. 1924 Approximately 74 minutes
Director Lev Kuleshov
Cast Porfiriy Podobed, Boris Barnet, Aleksandra Kho, Vsevolod Pudovikin
Special Support Provided by Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and Consulate General of Sweden, SF