Re-Viewing Homo Sovieticus: The representation of the male body in the films of Kira Muratova

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Abstract:

One of the paradoxes of mainstream Soviet cinema was that it tended to make a spectacle of masculine physicality without (for the most part) drawing attention to it in any explicit sense. The male hero's body was mythologized in patriarchal structures that imposed themselves as neutral. This paper examines the different ways in which the director Kira Muratova challenges this cultural paradigm, by explicitly foregrounding the male body, and destabilizing the male perspective. In this respect Muratova's films pose a challenge to the archetypal images of masculinity (and femininity) prevalent not just in the Soviet Union, or in mainstream cinema, but in many other places besides.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ncin.1.2.113

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  
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