Natalija Majsova: When Wolves Live up to Love

Sigarev’s Events and their Cinematic Worlds


Where should one begin, if one’s ambition is to point to a certain cinematographic event? How to go about discussing specific cases, where the potential power of cinema to cut through reality, constructed in terms of representation, resorting to the surplus of representation it produces by itself, comes to the fore? The aim of this paper is to address these questions following Rancière’s approach, starting off from the perspective of a certain cinema, and its particular, case-specific ways of constructing cinematic worlds, and the working hypothesis that the films in question (»Wolfy/Volchok« (2009) and »Living/Zhit’« (2012), both dir. V. Sigarev) may be described cinematographic events, i.e. cuts into the order of the visible. Following this proposition, the paper will explore the politics at the heart of the aesthetics of the films, arguing that the cinematic worlds they construct are most potently, actively legible if seen as unconditional embraces of love-events, which are at the same time external and inherent to their plots. If allowed such a reading, which disregards firm oppositions between the real and representation, these films, guided by a passion for the real, rather than an inclination toward verisimilitude, may be seen as cinematographic events. The paper concludes by exploring the possible implications of this statement in on two levels: on the level of the immediate context of Russian cinematography, which Stishova (2013) once characterized as “discursive schizophrenia”, and on the level of the perspectives of contemporary politics of (cinematic) aesthetics.