All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
A French marquis (Sergei Dreiden) wanders through a vast labyrinth of corridors, theaters and ballrooms at a reception for a Persian ambassador.
It made Eisenstein turn in his grave but this so-called stunt, shot in an unbroken take via digital steadicam, has considerably more to offer. A guided tour through one of the greatest museums in the world, the film is quite literally akin to travelling back in time, more specifically through the past three centuries of glorious Russian history and how it has come to be interpreted within the context of the nation's larger European identity. It's a demanding film for sure but those who stay with it will be rewarded at the end.
my only complaint: a bit too much montage
Filmed entirely in one-take, Russian Ark is a fantastical and sweeping look at Russian history aided with a sense of aching melancholy and lost memories, slowly floating away into the deadening atmosphere of crumbling civilization.
I admire it more than I actually enjoyed it, but man, that climax is a knockout. It makes you feel really really really sad, but in a good way. Kinda.
Its technical achievement is stupendous: 95 minutes, one shot. What it manages to say in that 95 minutes may be even greater as it manages to capture the ideas of life, existence, art, death, history being in the past, moving on, moving forward all within its images, camera movements, and dialogue between our unshown narrator and the man in black guide. It's a extraordinary film, one that deserves to rank amongst the greatest in cinema for its technical mastery which matches its grandiose representation of ideas. This is what great film/art is about.
"One of the most astonishing films ever made"...Roger Ebert 2003. After reading that review...Russian Ark made it to the top of my "must watch movie list". It took awhile to track this one down, but when I did I eagerly put the movie into the DVD player....and after about 40 minutes I was so bored with the movie that I turned it off. Well almost a decade later...I revisited the movie and this time I got all the way through the movie.
The movie is about two men....one seen, the other only heard, who travel through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounter historical figures from the last 200+ years. The story in the movie was still a challenge for…
The idea was an audacious one. A single take film encompassing three centuries of Russian artistic history sweeping along the halls of the Hermitage museum. An hour and forty minutes spent trapped in a dream world floating through the echoing halls of time. Technically the film is a triumph, a marvel of choreography and design shot with breathtaking confidence.
The eye focuses in on the gimmick looking to see if it is really true, that such scale can be captured without cutting corners and it's clear that Sokurov achieves what should be impossible. There have been a number of notable long one-take sequences over time that have been lauded for technical prowess but nothing that can compare to this.
Russian cinema gives me hives.
Appreciation over love. :(
It is exceedingly rare to find a film that can have such a lingering effect one so profoundly, and in ways that cannot be immediately described. For me, Russian Ark is a film that has created, for me, a refreshed ardor for not only history itself, but also for Russian history.
I adore history; I adore art; museums are places of wonder for me. Russian Ark perfectly represents the almost indescribable feeling that comes over one in a place so deeply tied to history: this film physicalized the emotions I feel when in an art museum, which is a feat I never expected to watch happen in front of me. It is a journey, an experience, start to finish.
Scavenger Hunt 20
Film #28/Task #19: "A pre-2010 film shot on digital"
A decade before Birdman, Victoria, and that one episode of It's Always Sunny, Alexander Sokurov filmed a 90-minute single shot using a literal cast of thousands, hundreds of costumes, and dozens of props, and set it all up inside of one of the most beautiful and historic museums in the world. It's a massive undertaking in both scope and ambition, and seen purely as an exercise in technical skill, choreography, cinematography, and just plain planning/patience, it's one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Though if you're looking for riveting storytelling, or any story at all, there is none, but that's beside the point. It substitutes plot…
First things are best said first: I know so little of pre-20th-century Russian history as to make any sort of comment of mine about this film's relationship to actual history pretty close to useless. Even without much of a working knowledge of Russian history, though, I think it's pretty safe to say that the "set" (the real-life Saint Petersburg Winter Palace) and the costuming are both stunning in their immersive period detail on a level I haven't seen since Barry Lyndon. And then there's the fact that the movie was filmed all in one take, which lends a cool, dreamlike quality to the movie, although it would be a lot more impressive if the film itself felt more choreographed. But alas, the film itself, while visual sumptuous at all times, is meandering and improvised-feeling, to say nothing of the irritating bouts of fourth-wall-breaking.
For the longest time, I could never understand why no one had attempted to make a "first-person" movie before. It seemed like a novel idea that could really draw the viewer into the space of the film, but the practicality of such a thing ultimately would probably be more difficult than it was worth.
Before "Hardcore Henry" decided to turn the concept into nausea fuel without even really going all the way with it either, Russian Ark was that movie as it turns out. But it's much more than a gimmick film, as the dreamlike environment and gorgeous, elaborate costumes elevate this film to one of cinemas most unique experiences. An elaborate theater piece come to life, the end result…
Maybe the closest we'll ever see to a dream on film
Here is yet another case of me watching something because it will soon be gone from Netflix Instant. Ever since I heared about this movie from Letterboxd, I was intrigued. Sure, it's more gimmick than actual story, but it is something I am glad I finally watched.
This fantastical tale is about an unseen man who wanders through what is the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is with a mysterious man that is apparently some 19th century French dude known as Marquis de Custine, who traveled to Russia in his life... and judging by the movie, was a pompous A-hole. They go through the various rooms and the settings represent the past several hundred years of Russian life…
5 and 4.5 star films