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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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The Stone

The Stone

No Way Home

(p.112) Chapter Six The Stone
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov

Jeremi Szaniawski

Columbia University Press

This chapter talks about The Stone (1992). The Stone is preoccupied with the motifs of death and a return home. With its minimalistic plot and sedate, cotton-like atmosphere, the film conveys a sense of dreamy routine. The Stone is a film about the sentience of things and dead persons, the simple pleasures of senses found again, but only for a very short while, their impermanence eliciting sadness rather than hedonistic relish. In many ways, the emotional heart of the film lies in this sensory epiphany, and its most powerful scenes demonstrate the “added value” of sound multiplying the power of evocation present in the image. Memory is a strong engine of the film's poetics, but the predominant mood is hardly one of successful reunion with things past. In the end, the film resolves none of its questions or narrative knots, exhibiting the paradox of the impossibility of the return, momentarily made flesh through Anton Chekhov's character and through the practice of repetition and re-working proposed by the cinematic medium itself.

Keywords:   Russia, The Stone, death, return home, sadness, memory, Anton Chekhov

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