Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


If you are a gay man you will definitely think the opening of this film is homoerotic, maybe even porn. Who could blame you, two men naked on a bed, abstractly shot to look like wrestling. Or something. But when you learn that it is father and son, father trying to contain son while he is having a bad dream, you might be forced to rethink. You may rethink your previous re-thunk thought when the embraces between them last a little too long, they speak to each other with no personal space and they look at each other with the look of a really good first date. You're sure there is going to be a wild kiss followed by something you will peek through your fingers to see.

But you're wrong. What this Russian director, Alexandr Sokurov, so brilliantly and provocatively depicts is the love between father and son. Father & Son traces a quietly intense and advant-garde portrait of a necessary bond, what happens when that bond is severed and how some will forever seek to replace or repair until a facsimile exists or they die trying.

I loved the way they filmed this one, like everything was shot through a gold or silver gauze, giving the whole 70 minutes a serene, dream-like feeling, putting you, the viewer, in the perspective of uninformed voyeur, destined to unearth something you are not at all prepared to see.

The casting was particularly strategic, father (Andrei Shchetinin) and son (Aleksei Nejmyshev) are both good-looking, well-built Russian men that catch your eye and hold you down while whispering a poignant message you didn't come to hear.


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