Film scientist born 7.08.1950 in Riga to a family of writer Gunārs Cīrulis. Graduated form the University of Latvia, Departmet of Foreign Languages (1972), and studied at Film Actors' Studio, played an episodic part in Ada Neretniece's film The Morning Of The Long Day (1968). Did traineeship at the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Film, studied at the Moscow Art History Institute. Dr. Art in art history (1984). Since 1975, head researcher at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.
Has been working abroad since 1990's, guest professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, at the University of California, Santa Barbara and at the University of Amsterdam. Delivered lectures in film history at the Latvian Academy of Culture (1994), was the head of the Summer School of Film History in Riga (1995). Professor at the University of Chicago, Department of Art History (since 1996). World-acknowledged researcher of film semiotics, of psychology of film perception, and of early film history of Russia. Published articles in miscellanies, such as Runā kinematogrāfisti (in 1970's and 1980's), author of the books Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 1908-1919 (1989 in London, English and Italian), Early Cinema in Russia 1896-1930 and its Cultural Reception (1991 in Riga, Russian, and 1994 in London and NY, English), and Dialogues with the Screen (1994 in Tallinn, Russian, collaboration with Yuri Lotman).
Member of the International Society for the Study of Early Cinema, Honorary Member of several film institutes and universities of the world. Consultant at the Riga Film Museum (1987-1993), was a member of the organizing committee of Film Days '86, and IFF Arsenāls selection committee (1988-2000).