Russian Ark / Movie and Review
The 96-minute film consists of one continuous, uninterrupted take completed in the Hermitage Museum at St. Petersburg. The museum, the pride of St. Petersburg, is the repository – the ark – of more than 3 million artifacts representing Russian art, history, and culture.
While the camera glides through the art of the Hermitage, actors play out – in an unbroken flow of random and whimsical moments – three centuries of Russian imperial history. The film has the feel of an eerie dream-like and voyeuristic journey.
I cannot remember seeing another film which made me so keenly aware of the transitory nature of life, and the roles each of us play in the mists of time. Technically, the Russian Ark will be one of the most sustained artistic ideas you will ever witness in a film.
Directed by Alexander Sokurov; written (in Russian, with English subtitles) produced by Andrey Deryabin, Jens Meurer and Karsten StÃ¶ter; released by Wellspring. 96 minutes