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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.
Strangely watchable and less dry than I was expecting.
Taking my second step into Sokurov's filmography - right after a very wrong first step, with "Stone", in which I could have no guess on what was happening - I have now a way more positive perception on his work and his artistical intents.
The greatest appeal of the whole film, which is certainly filled with a diversity of appealing curiosities, is the fact of it being shot in only one continuous take. From the begining to the end the is absolutely no cut. What should, or might sound at first a huge amount of virtuosism and unnecessary frisson, ends up actually not only being justified, but extremelly well articulated with the theme and the main discussion of the film,…
Rewatched for an upcoming TSL feature about single-take films.
One of the most visually stunning films of this century, a dream of Russian history through art, beauty and wonder.
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"The Russians are the best in the world at copying"
Have you ever walked through a museum and thought "Boy, I wish this was shot like a Kubrick film"? Apparently Sokurov did, and with that goal he managed to create something with great technical qualities but no real emotional impact. The only gallery-style art pieces I'm partial to are landscape paintings, so most of the art Sokurov focuses on didn't really interest me. I did appreciate the detail that he put into creating the world of the museum, and the whole piece feels like a labour of love, however, I didn't love it. I dind't hate it either, and I do think Russian Ark is a pretty great film, but it didn't push enough of my buttons. Watching Russian Ark is a perfect simulation of walking through an art gallery, and that is it's biggest strength and greatest weakness.
"Everyone can see the future, but no one remembers the past."
An enchanting journey through snapshots of Russia over a few hundred years. I'm not going to talk much about how insanely well it's made, but it's a true feat of not just film-making, but pure logistics. I was not expecting it to be emotional at all, but I was close to shedding a tear at the end (which is weird considering there's no plot). Dreamlike, mesmerising and unbelievably impressive, this film is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
SO bizarre, but I am glad to have watched it. shades of unsettling
I think I admired its overall craft far more than I actually enjoyed watching it. On a technical level it's an absolute feat but I don't think I really loved actually watching it. But I can't deny what a complete masterful work it is from on objective standpoint sooo...
I wonder how often the docents at that museum have to stop people from sniffing the art now.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion;
Only contains films released between 1955 and 2016 (for now).