/ 5

Pudovkin's Mechanics of the brain - continued...

In 1925 Vsevolod Pudovkin, leaving his studies in physical chemistry unfinished and having worked a few years both in a chemical laboratory and in the experimental filmstudio of Lev Kuleshov, began shooting his first independent film: the "Mechanics of the brain", a didactic documentary of Ivan Pavlov's physiological laboratory in Leningrad. One year before the Soviet party had started the campaign of "Cinemafication of the whole country". Factography was the concept, which connected writers, photographers and filmmakers to produce propaganda movies and bring cinema and ideology simultaneously to the largely analphabetic population. This tendency of effectivation, which had started with the death of Lenin, was reinforced by Stalin at the end of 1924, when he presented his program of accelerated industrialization at the 14th Convention.

It is in this dynamic spirit in that Pudovkin set his goal to teach Pavlov's physiological results to the masses just as the functioning of his new medium, film - and he accelerated some things as well. As Pudovkin cut several decades of physiological research down to forty minutes of film and to a few years of Pavlov’s reflexology, he also condensed five years of apprenticeship with Kuleshov into one and a half years of shooting and into a few, but crucial theoretical cornerstones of his film production. "Mechanics of the brain" therefore stands in line with several events, which all refer to complications between scientific-experimental and artistic-medial practices.

Reference: Vöhringer, Margarete. 2001. Pudovkin's "Mechanics of the brain" - Film as physiological Experiment.. The Virtual Laboratory (ISSN 1866-4784),