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Term: Kuleshov Effect

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A film editing (montage) effect or phenomenon demonstrated in an experiment by Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in 1918. Kuleshov shot a single long close-up of an actor, sitting still without facial expression. He then cut away to various shots with different content such as a bowl of soup, a woman in a coffin, and a child with a toy bear. When the film was shown to an audience, it (connecting the “dots”) “marvelled at the sensitivity of the actor’s range”. Kuleshov recognized the importance of editing techniques to guide the audiences’ perceptions and enhance the emotional impact of a shot or a scene.

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