Russian ark

Russian ark

DVD - 2003 | Russian | Masterworks ed.
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A modern filmmaker magically finds himself transported to the 18th century, where he embarks on a time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history. Filmed with a cast of thousands, three live orchestras and an army of technicians, Russian Ark is the longest uninterrupted shot in film history, and the first feature film ever created in a single take."
Publisher: New York : Wellspring Media, [2003]
Edition: Masterworks ed.
ISBN: 9780794203788
Branch Call Number: DVD Russian RUS
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.


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May 14, 2018

A dreamlike journey through Russian history and culture, filmed in a single long take. Time periods mingle and merge as the unnamed narrator wanders through the Hermitage Museum (formerly one the Czar’s "Winter Palace"). Places seem to morph into each other and directions become confused; an effect made by creative blocking-off of certain areas until the camera views them directly. Fascinating, and with beautiful costumes and cinematography – but not for the fan of conventional story-driven movie-making.

Jan 09, 2018

I loved this movie though I found the special features on the disk to be equally entertaining. For a movie that appears simple to make, it was actually quite an ordeal to shoot, requiring extensive preparation. I highly recommend watching the making of-documentary as well as the documentary on the Hermitage itself. Fascinating!

Aug 16, 2017

Watched Francofonia a couple of weeks ago and checked this out after reading the glowing comments about Sokurov's earlier film on the world's largest and oldest museum in St. Petersburg. A lavish production with an engaging tour of the Hermitage. At the very least, a cheap and lively way to see some of those masterpieces and learn about Russian history. Not sure about the past, thanks to global politics today, short tourist trips to Russia requires a visa; an economy roundtrip seat on Lufthansa flight from San Francisco airport to St. Petersburg via Frankfurt alone costs over US$1,200 ... plus mandatory health insurance, hotel, museum tickets, ground transportation and all other incidentals. And of course, no US visitors would miss the chance to take a side trip to Moscow... more $$$.
- The museum is like an Ark for the Russian treasures in art and culture.
- European masterpieces are mainly of people's faces and eyes, seldom landscapes or buildings. As in one of the scene, the people in the paintings were: "Eternal people. So, live on. Live on. You'll out live them all."
- Inside the Winter Palace section of the museum, visitors walk about as nobles through the ages since it was the former main residence of the Russian czars.

Jul 30, 2017

Very nicely done. If you cannot visit this incredible place called the Hermitage in Leningrad, this one is for you. A jump into 18th century Russia. Along with a narrateur. Art, art, more are art. Dancing lots of uniforms, even if you don't like the military, like the narrateur said.
A must. Enjoy

Jan 22, 2017

Equal parts art film and museum tour, an uneasy combination for anyone unfamiliar with Russian culture and history. Best enjoyed as a feat of director's skill (unlike films with similar ambitions, Russian Ark is really and truly all one shot) and as a spectacle. Look up the references afterwards.

Dec 03, 2015

Viewed 3 Dec 2015. Marvelous--recreation of Czarist Russia inside the Hermitage Palace Museum

Kereesa Sep 30, 2015

An interesting, if somewhat artsy Russian film. Technical/cinematic beauty aside, this is not a movie for the non-historic savant. I know a little of Russian history (mostly during the Golden Horde period and from 1890+) so much of the time period the film focuses on (with some exceptions) was a little lost on me. Nevertheless the film's focus on history, our place in it, the romanticiztion of the past, and, of course, the European Question of Russia are just as thought provoking as the setting is. Bravo.

Nov 19, 2014

It is a 2002 historical drama directed by Alexander Sokurov.
It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot.
An unnamed narrator wanders through the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.
He is accompanied by "the European", who represents the Marquis de Custine, a nineteenth-century French traveler.
The Marquis encounters various real and fictional people from various periods in the city's 300-year history.
You see Peter the Great harassing one of his generals.
Catherine the Great watches a spectacular presentation of opera and then rushes to take a pee.
You also see an imperial audience in which Tsar Nicholas I is offered a formal apology by the Shah of Iran for the death of Alexander Griboedov, an ambassador to Iran.
Followed is the idyllic family life of Tsar Nicholas II's children.
After that, a desperate Leningrader makes his own coffin during the 900-day siege of the city during World War II.
It is a magnificent and fascinating documentary-style presentation of Russian palace culture.

atomix Oct 01, 2014

I appreciate that the movie has technical genius. But without special knowledge - or a tour guide - it doesn't speak to me. It sounded more interesting than it actually was to see.

Mar 03, 2014

The camera work is brilliant in this movie but overall I couldn’t get into this movie and it just looked like a tour of the Hermitage museum.

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Aug 16, 2017

Art work appreciation:

Madonna of the Partridges by Van Dyke. Catherine II acquired it. Would you like to tell me about this painting?
-Please, tell me.
See the calm and serenity around the Madonna and Joseph.
- Joseph, yes.
God protects them. There is no doubt about His unseen presence. The apple tree represents life. Sunflowers stand for piety. On the upper right, partridges symbolize frivolity.
- They're flying away.
Partridges. Angels dance and play. So many other symbols that we can only guess about.
Eternal people. So, live on. Live on. You'll outlive them all.

Aug 16, 2017

Do you know that those are the apostles Peter and Paul?
-Yes, that's what someone said.
That's what they said? And so?
-I was looking at them because it gives me joy.
Gives you joy... One day, all men will become like them.
This sequence must have costed a bundle in production:
I had no intention of staying. This ceremony will continue for a few more hours still. As a former diplomat, I'm aware of that. A terrible boredom will set in. A terrible boredom.

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