All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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.
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.
my only complaint: a bit too much montage
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…
Day #5 in my It's a Large World After All Challenge (AKA 30 Days, 30 Countries). Country: Russia
My parents used to try to take me to museums at a very young age. I ended up hating them because I was forced to stare at paintings I didn't understand, from artists I had never heard of. I just wanted to play with my gameboy, and these stupid drawings were keeping me from it. There was no question of the pure craftsmanship that went into each and every piece of art given the honor to adorn the walls of the museum, but I didn't appreciate it. As time went on I have grown more appreciate of art and artists, and would…
A última cena (das saída do baile) por si só é melhor que muitos filmes.
May 2016 Scavenger Hunt
Film #22/Task #21
A film that takes place over the course of a single night
My list: letterboxd.com/strangah/list/may-2016-scavenger-hunt/
It's gorgeous and I had a lot of fun watching, but it all felt so empty. I would love to go to this museum, but this film was just a bit too boring and uninteresting. Outside of a few moments from our main character talking to the narrator, I was very uninterested in what was going on.
But all of the surroundings, costumes, design, music, and camerawork were fantastic, which made it, at the very least, watchable. It's a very cool type of single take film, constantly shifting between time periods and places with the museum as the backdrop. It's a great idea, but it just doesn't provide enough substance.
This movie is about ghosts, the ghosts of Russia's cultural past. Regarding the central idea, the movie is just an subjective illustration of Aleksandr Sokurov, an essay on a difficult topic.
As regarding the technical aspects:
Alexander Sokurov’s extraordinary vision of filming RUSSIAN ARK in one uninterrupted take required extraordinary technical solutions. As it is physically impossible to record more than twelve continuous minutes of conventional film, we had to turn to video. However, it was only the fairly recent arrival of compact 24P High Definition cameras, that offered the visual quality and portability to make this film for cinema, eventually transferring the digital image to 35mm negative.
RUSSIAN ARK may be the first example in cinematic history of a building's layout dictating a film's pacing and structure.
If you're reading this, you probably already know the film's gimmick: it is one long 96 minute Steadicam shot, going through the entire Armitage Museum in St. Petersburg, involving over 2,000 actors carefully orchestrating their movements throughout the 33 different rooms we visit as we see scenes from the building's 300+ year history.
Most people always tend to come to the same conclusion I do: while the technical feat and amount of planning that must have gone into such a shot is impressive, the overall film is dull, poorly-paced, and lacks much cohesion. The post-dubbed audio tries to build a…
So in Russia, one-take shoots you! Eh, eh?
There come times when I am seeing a film that announces and declares itself as a piece of magnificent, magnifonic, exceptional and daring work of art that I have to reckon with the objective vs the subjective perspectives: it's one thing to recognize how brilliantly a film is made as opposed to how I felt about it, or, in the old Ebert philosophy, not what it's about but how it's about it. Because objectively speaking, I'd find it hard to argue or hear a persuasive argument to the contrary that this is the highest orchestral arrangement of cinema that is possible.
By that statement I mean that you can't watch this and…
A singular achievement. Filmed at the Hermitage in one take, the story skips through time and Russian history with only an unseen narrator and a man in black as our guides. Gorgeous and immersive; I'd love to see it on an enormous screen someday.
For all of the acclaim that Russian Ark has received for its incredible one-take gambit, it is just one of the many vital segments that contribute to its almost dreamlike undercurrent. It is reliant primarily on its structure, or more accurately its lack of structure, moving through various time periods freely and in often wildly different settings. The various environments of the Hermitage Museum, in which the entirety of the film takes place, are clearly connected, but every section has its own individual character that is formed both by the actual artworks and the historical figures populating them. It is immaculately staged, but at times (whether intentional or not), especially towards the beginning, the film feels consciously theatrical, as if…
The DVD not going to do this justice. Or maybe it's actually just really hard to get into. I legitimately feel bad I wasn't more in awe of it. Then again, I'm no expert on Russian art and classical music. We'll meet again, Russian Ark
I mean, it's cool that it's filmed in one take and all, but it just comes off like a really expensive re-enactment.
Performances are good, the technical side of things is spot on, and I felt dead inside watching this.
Which is weird, because I liked Victoria.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…