Russian Ark

Tuesday, February 25th, 2003 | Film

Last night I saw Sokurov’s Russian Ark, and am still reeling from it. It is a dazzling cinematic achievement. In one 90 minute take, the camera moves through something like 35 rooms in the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg. The perspective is from that of the narrator, who is guided by a French diplomat through elaborately staged scenes of Russian history. It’s like a cubist experience of time, with history intersecting space on film, and all in real time.

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