Rating: Not Rated, but could be PG for mildly adult situations
Run Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
been so restless and so spellbound in a single sitting. “Russian Ark” utilizes state-of-the-art
technique – a single, 90-minute long Steadicam shot – to weave its way through
thirty-three “sets”, over nine hundred actors, three live orchestras, and St.
Petersburg’s richest historical heritage, the
the point of view of a lone camera operator (unseen) and his ghostly, 19th
century French diplomat muse (Sergey Dreiden), the pair move in and around the
Hermitage’s legendary collection of treasures.
Always moving, always observing, and relentlessly contemplating the
paintings, the people, and the objets d’art that personify
Keep in mind that this tour de force is a work of cinematic art. Not a single edit, opening up to a continuous fiber of time that mirrors its subject’s free-floating anxiety and congenial confusion.
Did I mention restless bordering on shades of boredom? “Russian Ark” is difficult to follow if you’re not immersed in the concept of Russian culture. I myself am not a connoisseur of Soviet history – consequently I had some trouble parsing the narrative. But the genius of the work speaks volumes, offering up a hallucinatory dreamscape that both frustrates and captivates.