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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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Days of the Eclipse

Days of the Eclipse

‘Adieu, Babylone’; Adieu, Tarkovsky

(p.59) Chapter Three Days of the Eclipse
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov

Jeremi Szaniawski

Columbia University Press

This chapter considers Days of the Eclipse (1988). An idiosyncratic adaptation of the Strugatsky Brothers's 1974 novella One Billion Years to the End of the World (Definitely Maybe), Days of the Eclipse received a wide range of positive reviews and acclaim at festivals worldwide, leading to its theatrical release in numerous countries. In the West, it was Fredric Jameson who contributed most to its prestige, illuminating the aspects of “Soviet magic realism” to be found in the film. Complementing Jameson's analysis with psycho-biographical elements, this chapter examines the film's affects as a reflection not only of the fate of a collapsing Soviet Union, but also the transition, in Sokurov's own life, from a certain innocence of youth into the disillusion of adolescence and adulthood. The film is fundamentally a paean to the author's youth while also addressing motifs such as death and decay.

Keywords:   Days of the Eclipse, Strugatsky Brothers, One Billion Years to the End of the World, Fredric Jameson, magic realism, Soviet Union, youth, death

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