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Joyce Barneto

Joyce Barneto

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Boris Barnet made his film acting debut playing the cowboy Jed, in Lev Kuleshov's "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks" (1924), and turned to directing two years later. A versatile, sensitive craftsman, particularly effective with comedy, Barnet's career lasted from the silent years into the 1960s--no easy feat in pre-Glasnost Soviet Union. In 1933, he helmed what most consider his masterpiece "Okraina/Patriots," his first sound feature about the divided loyalties of a small Russian town during the first World War. As Soviet tastes changed in the late 1930s, Barnet's light comedies tended to fall out of favor. Two of his films made during the war years, "The Old Jockey" (1940) and "The Novgordians" (1943) were banned. Barnet managed to rehabilitate his career with 1947's "Exploit of an Intelligence Agent" in which he also co-starred as a venal Nazi officer. This odd mixture of film noir and comedy was well-received critically and led to more work for the director. Of the handful of films he directed or co-directed before his 1965 suicide, "Poet" and "The Wrestler and the Clown" (both 1957) stand out.

Boris Barnet made his film acting debut playing the cowboy Jed, in Lev Kuleshov's "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks" (1924), and turned to directing two years later. A versatile, sensitive craftsman, particularly effective with comedy, Barnet's career lasted from the silent years into the 1960s--no easy feat in pre-Glasnost Soviet Union. In 1933, he helmed what most consider his masterpiece "Okraina/Patriots," his first sound feature about the divided loyalties of a small Russian town during the first World War. As Soviet tastes changed in the late 1930s, Barnet's light comedies tended to fall out of favor. Two of his films made during the war years, "The Old Jockey" (1940) and "The Novgordians" (1943) were banned. Barnet managed to rehabilitate his career with 1947's "Exploit of an Intelligence Agent" in which he also co-starred as a venal Nazi officer. This odd mixture of film noir and comedy was well-received critically and led to more work for the director. Of the handful of films he directed or co-directed before his 1965 suicide, "Poet" and "The Wrestler and the Clown" (both 1957) stand out.

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