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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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Lonely Voice of Man

Lonely Voice of Man

Singular Murmurs, Multiple Echoes

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter One Lonely Voice of Man
Source:
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov
Author(s):

Jeremi Szaniawski

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231167352.003.0002

This chapter reviews Alexander Sokurov's Lonely Voice of Man (1978). Lonely Voice of Man, initially meant to be a documentary about Andrey Platonov, is pervaded by a sense of loss and gloom. An adaptation of two texts by Platonov, The River Potudan and The Origins of a Master, it serves as a formal and thematic matrix for a very substantial part of Sokurov's oeuvre. The film also illustrates how Sokurov creates a cogent whole out of an extremely precarious film production, and manages to reach the most universal of themes even with the most intimate, confidential material: the story of two young people simply trying to achieve a simple kind of happiness, in the immediate post-Civil War period. Literary critic Georges Nivat has underlined the convergences between the artistic universes of Platonov and Sokurov, stemming from thematic lines such as misery, solitude, survival, and the path to love. One of the great achievements of Lonely Voice of Man is to have produced a cogent and powerful film from its highly hybrid, mixed components.

Keywords:   Russia, Alexander Sokurov, Lonely Voice of Man, Andrey Platonov, The River Potudan, The Origins of a Master, misery, solitude, love

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