Russian Ark: movie review (N/R)

Film

Russian Ark

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

Not yet rated

Be the first...

 

Time Out says

Tue Sep 3 2013

On a wintry December day in 2001, the herculean cinematographer Tilman Büttner (Run Lola Run) strapped on a Steadicam and captured the whole of this mysterious feature in a single shot, snaking through crowded rooms, up and down stairwells and ultimately out a side door of St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace. If that mind-boggling achievement gets you in the theater, then so be it. The best style has a purpose to it, and Russian Ark, in its hypnotic, endless swirl, gets at a deep truth of the post-Soviet psyche, haunted by its legacy of czarist rule and Stalin-era sacrifice. The film is a sad home for ghosts.

Its director, Alexander Sokurov, pushes his conceit to the theatrical hilt: A foppish French marquis (Sergey Dreyden) cavorts in front of us, thrilled to be a tour guide to all the paintings, while no fewer than three separate orchestras await in different chambers. Mumbling but never seen is a narrator (Sokurov himself), maybe a dead man, who wanders the terrain like the player of some arty first-person shooter. We see laughing royal children and forlorn WWII siege survivors, their voices echoing long after the final fade. This is as immersive—and as Shining-level spooky—as history gets.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

N/R

US release:

Fri Dec 13, 2002

Duration:

99 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Alexander Sokurov

Cast:

Sergey Dreiden, Maria Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy, David Giorgobiani, Alexander Chaban, Maxim Sergeyev, Natalia Nikulenko, Anna Aleksahina, Vladimir Baranov, Boris Smolkin, Alexander Sokurov

Music:

Georg Philipp Telemann, G Persella, Peter Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Glinka, Sergey Yevtushenko

Producer:

Andrey Deryabin, Jens Meurer, Karsten Stöter

Screenwriter:

Anatoli Nikiforov, Alexander Sokurov, dialogues Boris Khaimsky, Svetlana Proskurina

Cinematography:

Tilman Büttner

Editor:

Sergey Ivanov

Production Designer:

Alexander Sokurov

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|0
2 people listening