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An important figure in post-revolutionary art circles, Kozintsev was one of several co-founders--including his future partner Leonid Trauberg--of the influential, experimental theater group, FEX (Factory of the Eccentric Actor). A few years after its foundation in 1921 FEX turned its attention to filmmaking, bringing its eclectic, bombastic style to the screen with the medium-length "The Adventures of Oktyabrina" (1924).
Kozintsev and Trauberg began co-directing feature films later in the decade, reaching their peak with the hugely popular "Maxim" trilogy ("The Youth of Maxim" 1935, "The Return of Maxim" 1937, "The Vyborg Side" 1938), an unromanticized portrait of the formation of a revolutionary. A number of subsequent projects failed to reach completion and the pair finally split, demoralized by the Stalinist suppression of "Plain People" (1945, released 1956). From 1947 on Kozintsev directed alone. His last three films were fine adaptations of literary classics, most notably "Hamlet" (1964); he was planning a version of "The Tempest" at the time of his death.
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