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Russian Ark

Russian Ark

Total Film

January 2004

Link to Article on External Website

Director Aleksandr Sokurov
Starring Sergei Dontsov, Mariya Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy, Mikhail Piotrovsky
Cert U

Film ***

There's no doubt that Russian director Alexander Sokurov's one-take wonder is an astonishing technical feat: an 88-minute uninterrupted shot that makes a dreamlike sweep through St Petersburg's majestic Hermitage museum, while a huge cast stages scenes covering three centuries of Russian history.

The narrative hook is a running dialogue between the unseen filmmaker and a 19th-century French aristocrat. As lovely and elegant as it all is, though, it's hard to keep your mind from drifting during the parade of beautiful costumes, exquisite spaces and murky historical filling.

Watch the excellent Making Of, In One Breath, before you see the film - - a crash course in Russian history, it fills in lots of blanks. Plus there's a trailer, production notes, bios and a Sokurov short.

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