The Road East. Other Look at Andrei Zvyagintsev's 'The Return'
The aim of this feature is to show links, in terms of form and content, between Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev's film 'The Return' and Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu's feature 'Drifting Weeds' (1959). The author begins his article with showing the similarity of the content of the two - father returns home after a 12-year absence, is involved in a conflict with the son(s), leaves his (their) life, which is the equivalent of the coming of age of the two. There is a case for it: the clear-cut quotes from Ozu's film (motif of a lighthouse, train, use of red colour). The Russian film may be also linked with the genre of 'shomin-geki', whose master was Ozu. The basic categories of Japanese aesthetics, embedded in Zen Buddhism (shibui, mono-no-aware and ichigo ichie) and employed in the analysis of 'The Return', are aimed at finding an answer to the question: why the world of the film heroes is tainted with emptiness, which makes the film less 'Russian'? The author's attempt to make a comparative interpretation of the films' issues and meanings shows that their directors share thoughts and intentions.
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