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The Fog of Stagnation

Articles

<10.4000/monderusse.8203>
Disciplines
Keywords
Triple Keywords
Possibility
Ontology
Being
Films
Feature films--History and criticism
Motion pictures
Moving-pictures
Cinema
Movies
Spacetime
Space of more than three dimensions
Space and time
Space-time
Space-times
Time and space
Space-time continuum
Emotions (Philosophy)
Human emotions
Feelings
Passions
Emotions
Novellas (Short novels)
Stories
Metafiction
Fiction
Novels
Fiction--Philosophy

Abstract

This article argues that a queer temporality emerged during the era of Soviet Stagnation: the Stalinist past was unspeakable and the future postponed or foreclosed. In response to the limited horizon of “developed socialism” – the loss of narrative coherence and futurity, the never‑to‑arrive communist promise – an expanded present rich in possibility and feeling was brought into being in animated films, providing a time and space where one could desire again. Iurii Norshtein’s Ëzhik v tumane (Hedgehog in the Fog, 1975), Fëdor Khitruk’s Vinni‑pukh films (1969‑72) and Bremenskie muzykanty (Bremen Musicians, 1969) activated desire and altered fantasy not, as one might expect, through a reestablishment of linear time, but a reimagining of stagnation as a domain of thrilling, non‑teleological explorations. Where the fog in Ëzhik v tumane precipitated a lack and set the libido in motion, Vinni‑pukh provided a partial solution to the Brezhnev‑era desire crisis by staging polymorphous perversity and an elastic “kitchen time”; and Bremenskie muzykanty further developed the new socialities, loves, and forms of enjoyment communicated by such queer temporality. Gaps, magically intimate spaces, queer embodiment, and disfigured time were performed within the diegetic frame as well as instantiated by the film‑as‑object, asking spectators to playfully examine the impasses of late socialism, and imagine a libidinally saturated life, abounding with potentiality.

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