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The Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and RussiaBetween Pain and Pleasure$
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Ewa Mazierska, Matilda Mroz, and Elzbieta Ostrowska

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474405140

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405140.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

A Mass Doubling of Heroes: Post-human Objects of Queer Desire in Vladimir Sorokin and Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s 4

A Mass Doubling of Heroes: Post-human Objects of Queer Desire in Vladimir Sorokin and Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s 4

Chapter:
(p.166) Chapter 8 A Mass Doubling of Heroes: Post-human Objects of Queer Desire in Vladimir Sorokin and Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s 4
Source:
The Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and Russia
Author(s):

Alexandar Mihailovic

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405140.003.0009

In their 2004 film 4, the contemporary Russian novelist and screenwriter Vladimir Sorokin and the filmmaker Ilya Khrzhanovsky create a nightmare fantasy about the intersection of two seemingly unrelated processes of production. In Moscow, a new corrupt industry of processing chemically injected and possibly cloned pig meat and, in the countryside, a community of elderly women who create a series of eerie life-size dolls out of masticated bread dough. Both processes address anxieties about body boundaries being breached or invaded, with the national body becoming tainted or jammed up by what it ingests. The symbolic palette of 4 paints a picture of queer intimacy that knowingly embraces sterility, while also encoding gay male sex as emasculating and unclean. Within the film, the fear of death through feminisation is projected onto the portrayal of the economic changes that wreak havoc with individual autonomy.

Keywords:   Vladimir Sorokin, queerness, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Jean Baudrillard, Moscow Conceptualism, cannibalism, homophobia

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