MR. WEST was the first feature film that Lev Kuleshov made with a team of actors who had attended his Experimental Cinema Laboratory. What he was aiming for was the aesthetics of American action films. He admired them for their fast pace, well-wrought suspense and athletic performances, as well as narratively efficient framing and editing. In short, for everything that was missing from languid boudoir melodramas which dominated the Russian screen before the Revolution. Kuleshov's understanding of "American montage" came down to this essential rule: each scene must be composed of brief sequences, filmed in close-ups or medium shots from different angles, so as to draw attention to the key phrases of the character's movement and the most important details of his environment.