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The Cinema of Alexander SokurovFigures of Paradox$
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Jeremi Szaniawski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167352

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167352.001.0001

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Father and Son

Father and Son

Beyond Absolute Intimacy

(p.185) Chapter Twelve Father and Son
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov

Jeremi Szaniawski

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews the film Father and Son (2003). At the time of its Cannes premiere, the oneiric and sensual Father and Son mostly attracted questions pertaining to Sokurov's oft-suggested but never officially declared homosexuality. From its opening scene, Father and Son seeps with a powerful charge of homoeroticism, even in the display of mundane exchanges or youthful camaraderie; it is bathed in hues that connect it to at least one major landmark of queer cinema, and it has been embraced and appropriated by the gay community. This chapter explores what the intellectual short-sightedness (or dishonesty) of the liberal media, and the curt work of denial by the director, precluded; namely an open-ended, productive reading of the queerness to be detected in Father and Son, as it relates to its other undeniable qualities: its investment with the transcendental; to patriarchal society and to power in general. It suggests that the film is inescapably a paean from Sokurov to the relationship he wished he could have had with his father.

Keywords:   Father and Son, homosexuality, homoeroticism, queerness, patriarchal society, power, father

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