An impressive technical feat and aesthetic achievement of the first order, Sokurov’s camera glides through 33 rooms of the Hermitage’s Winter Palace. Moving in and out of cathedral-like galleries, ornate ballrooms, vestibules, corridors and workrooms, three centuries of Russian history and European art are filtered through a single 96 minute shot.
An unseen modern filmmaker (voiced by Sokurov) and a French diplomat, the Marquis de Custine (Sergey Dreiden), act as guides as we glide past the great paintings of El Greco, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens and others. Key moments from Russian history are interwoven: Peter the Great manhandling a general, Russia’s last Czar, Nicholas II, dining with his doomed family before the Revolution, Catherine the Great attending an opera and later, wandering into a snow-covered courtyard. An extraordinary film of visual and intellectual pleasures, Sokurov’s meditative masterwork offers a unique snapshot of Russian culture and history in all its beauty, terror and majesty.
“A remarkable dreamwork about Russian history, the power of art and the textures of time” The Sunday Age
“Has to be seen to be believed. A glorious experience” The Village Voice
22 Oct - 1 Nov
Alexander Sokurov’s singular masterpiece Russian Ark is an award-winning film consisting of one unbroken camera shot that moves through the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The highest-grossing foreign language film of the year upon its release in Australia – indeed, it was one of the first films to screen in our new cinemas at Federation Square late in 2002 – Russian Ark screens in stunning 2k digital format.