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Demanding men, desiring women and social collapse in the films of Evgenii Bauer, 191317

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The pre-Revolutionary film director Evgenii Bauer was an auteur, and the thematic conventions that can be identified in his films reveal the extent to which he helped to structure the cultural ethos during years that Tsarist Russia was severely destabilized by fighting the Great War. Bauer specialized in psychosexual dramas, and in this article I subject seven of his major films to Lacanian analysis in order to reveal how he explored the tension between sexual and social relations during these years of disarray and defeat. Bauer filmed his movies as he plotted them, using cinematography to underscore the plotlines that prevented his characters from seeing eye to eye. Remarkable for their murderous violence, Bauer's films evidence a profound pessimism about the war being fought.

Keywords: Lacan; Mulvey; desire; gaze; melodrama; patriarchy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/srsc.3.2.145_1

Affiliations: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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  • Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema focuses on pre-revolutionary, Soviet and post- Soviet film, its aesthetic development, and its position between ideology and industry. SRSC invites contributions that constitute original research. The journal seeks to promote research from established scholars as well as to encourage researchers new to the field.
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