(Vsevolod Illarianovich Pudovkin)
Born: Penza, Russia, 16 February 1893.
Died: Riga, Latvia, USSR, 20 June 1953.
Pudovkin is often designated as the second great artist of the Soviet silent film; his accomplishments have often taken a back seat to those of his more bellicose contemporary, Sergei Eisenstein. The difference between the two directors is typified in the oft-quoted statement of French critic Léon Moussinac: “Pudovkin’s films resemble a song, Eisenstein’s a scream.” But if Eisenstein gained notoriety as the more resolutely avant-garde film artist, it was Pudovkin who arguably made the more enduring contributions to the medium, refining the body of techniques—pioneered by D.W. Griffith—which today compose the seamless continuity of the psychological film.
To contemporary film students, Pudovkin is perhaps best known for his books of film theory, Film Director and Film Material (1926) and Film Scenario and Its Theory (1926), which were later combined into one volume, Film Technique. Although many of his ideas are tied to the techniques of silent film, Pudovkin’s writing is still studied in many film courses all over the world.