Father and Son

Alexander Sokurov conceived this 2003 drama as a companion piece to his 1997 Mother and Son; it has more plot than that picture but little of its painterly intensity. The story highlights the intimate bonds between a father and his adult son, both military men who share an apartment in an unnamed seaside city. Sokurov disavows any homoerotic intent, but it's hard to attach any other theme to the lyrical shots of intertwined male bodies at the beginning (accompanied by heavy breathing), or protracted close-ups throughout (conspicuously few of which involve the son's girlfriend). For mannerist obsessiveness of this kind, I prefer Beau travail. In Russian with subtitles. 84 min.

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