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Father and Son

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the Director of Russian Ark and Mother and Son, Alexander Sokurov, comes Father and Son. Following in the footsteps of his beloved father, Alexei attends military school. There, he begins dating a young woman, who becomes increasingly jealous of the intense relationship between the father and son.

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There's nothing ordinary or everyday in the movie world of Alexander Sokurov, as fans of the Russian director's Mother and Son and Russian Ark are well aware. This film bears no literal relation to Mother and Son, but the sense of depth is similar. Father and Son appears to be about the separation of the fiercely devoted title characters, who look more like brothers. The son is newly in the military, which changes the dynamic in the apartment they share in St. Petersburg (the top-floor flat frequently leads them to the precarious-looking roof). Not a great deal happens, but anything on screen (however obscure) is always imbued with a force that suggests a life lived with more intensity than usual. Sokurov uses a burnished, sepia tone that makes the movie look as though it's already passed into memory. This film has nothing to do with storytelling, and everything to do with poetry. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Photo gallery
  • Trailers
  • Essay by film critic Armond White

Product Details

  • Actors: Andrei Shchetinin, Aleksei Neymyshev, Aleksandr Razbash, Fyodor Lavrov, Marina Zasukhina
  • Directors: Aleksandr Sokurov
  • Writers: Sergei Potepalov
  • Producers: Claudia Spiller, Els Vandevorst, Evgeniy Grigorev, Fernando Centeio, Hengameh Panahi
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0002V7OCE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,775 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Father and Son" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2005
Format: DVD
Aleksandr Sokurov is as artist of the highest order. Not only does he understand his medium of film as his chosen avenue of creating art, he has the gifts of ingenuity, fresh creativity, and daring that make his works unique and stunning without any of the hoopla of 'experimental' filmmakers: Sokurov honors his humanity and celebrates the miracle of life with every stroke of his hand.

For those first introduced to Sokurov by viewing his extraordinary RUSSIAN ARK, a film of such importance historically as well as culturally and artistically that it stands alone: the conception and pre-camera preparation of covering 300 years of Russian history as played out in the Hermitage Museum buildings allowed this master to turn on the camera and record non-stop for the hour and a half of the complete story. The result is breathtakingly beautiful and enormously educational and enlightening - all that one can ask from a work of art.

In FATHER AND SON Sokurov has distilled all of his energy into a quiet, rhapsodic, sensually elegant examination of the relationship between a father and son. There is not much story: there is much being said. A father (the handsome and sensual Andrei Shchetinin) lives with his son Aleksei (Aleksei Nejmyshev - as handsome and virile and tender as Shchetinin) in a rooftop flat in St. Petersberg. The father has had a military career and the son is now at age 19 in military school studying medicine along with his training. The mother is dead and the father and son are closely bonded by her absence and by an amazing love for each other.

Aleksei has had a girlfriend (the incandescently beautiful Marina Zasukhina) but seeing that she is competing unsuccessfully for Aleksei's love for his father, she informs him she has found another love.
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Format: DVD
The first time I saw this, I was expecting it to be just like Mother and Son. Quiet, long takes, not too many cuts, slow, etc., etc.. When I first saw this, I was perplexed. It has the most cuts I've ever seen in a Sokurov film, and it just seemed strange at the time. When it came out on DVD, I decided to see it again, and it's a great film. It's an entirely different film than Mother and Son, but it's still Sokurov. Many have claimed that there's a homoerotic tension between the father and the son, and Sokurov has dismissed this as the product of "sick European minds". He's right. The reason that people have interpreted this as such is because the father and the son don't look alike, they're only 20 years apart, the father looks young, and they're both in great shape. The opening scene is the father is having a bad dream, and the son awakens him. Then they embrace. The 2 men who play the father and son are in good shape, so I suppose that's why they thought it was homoerotic. It really is kind of silly. The film is the thing, here. It's about a widower father losing his son to adulthood and possible marriage, and being left on his own, which naturally saddens and scares him. The whole film resembles a dream more than anything, and its imagery is bathed in warm, yellowish hues reminding us of the sun. It's really a stunningly beautiful film, haunting and unforgettable.
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Format: DVD
Sokurov's movies take some getting used to. This is so dissimilar from standard American moviemaking that to call both things "movies" is to compare fois gras to corn dogs - both are food . . . but, really . . .

Again, unlike most American cinema, Father and Son is haunted by some images of homoeroticism that Sokurov (initially at least) denied - but the moments, as beautiful and lyrical as they appear, may give one pause for concern - if not for the homoeroticism, then for the fact that this is father and son and the physicality (especially of the opening scene) at times borders on sexual. Repeated viewings however, will fix that for after a while it became evident to me that there was nothing unnatural about this relationship - and that most of us don't have that kind of physicality in our lives: most family pets receive more physical affection than actual family members.

Father and Son is a movie that will haunt long after its final frames and provoke thoughts about family and relationships as few films do.
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Once seen, I could not get this film out of my mind. So moving, I took a day off of work in order to see it again before its much-too-short run ended. A New York Times reviewer described it best: "[I]t has an intensity that surpasses understanding." The cinematography is gorgeous, the story is deeply moving, the characters are much more human than most Americans care to admit. Immediately shooting to the top of my list, I had to e-mail and thank Aleksandr Sokurov personally for his wonderful film... and happily received a reply. Watch it with an open mind.
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I saw this film at the theater about a month ago and I am very happy to see it being released so soon, though I suspected as much since there were only about 10 people to see this film on its opening Saturday. This is a wonderful, beautiful film. It is highly stylized, even pretentious, but still wonderful. I have been following Sokurov for some time. I find his earliest films to be almost unbearable. Perhaps it was a need on his part to follow his mentor, Tarkovsky. Finally, with Mother and Son and Russian Ark he has developed a style of his own, much more willing to distort the film image than Tarkovsky was. His films are slow and meditative, like Tarkovsky or Bresson, without much speaking. I don't won't to talk of the plot of this film, esp as it has very little, much like Mother and Son. Instead, it is the visual experience that is remarkable, beautiful and the interesting way he has of showing the interiors of his characters' feelings without much use of words. Mother and Son was about loss and alienation, so is Father and Son, but because of different reasons. You have to see the films to find out. However, from what I know of Sukurov, loss and alienation seem to be his favorite themes, and the reasons I like him so much. I realize these films are not going to be to everyone's liking, perhaps esp Father and Son because of its extreme slow pace and sometimes pretentious confusing story line. The film has a very homoerotic feel, but one tempered by a growing distance between the father and his son. And like his previous films that I have seen, the ending leaves a strong impression. Sokurov has become a master at high impact finales. Overall, a great, thoughtful, unique film. Buy it or rent it and see why.
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