Russian ark

Russian ark

DVD - 2013 | Russian
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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. The first feature film ever created in a single take. One of the most staggering technical achievements in the history of movies, Russian Ark consists of one unbroken tracking shot through the halls of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Caro12
Dec 27, 2020

Esoteric. Starts strangely ends equally strangely. Tried to enjoy because it was the Hermitage and the uniqueness of the filming, but ......

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archangel777
Feb 04, 2020

An operatic time travel voyage through the incredibly vast halls of the great Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This entire masterpiece took 4 years to set up and had one single day to be actually filmed. An incredible single long shot that literally weaves in and out 300 years worth of living Russian history. This film is literally one of a kind and makes Russian history and culture accessible to anybody with patience.

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byoneoka
Nov 25, 2019

I found this work rather tedious and boring.

It is fanciful in the time travel of the voice of the filmmaker.
As a catalog of some of the great works housed in the Hermitage, it was lacking in the criticism of curation.
As a summary history of Russia, it was lacking in broad stroke analysis of its key periods, characters and events.

Sometimes a tour de force is just that. Not done before, probably not attempted again. It is a major effort, not a major achievement.

amyraeweaver May 05, 2019

Even if your knowledge of Russian history begins and ends with last of the Romanovs (as mine essentially did when I first watched it), it's hard not to be transfixed by this movie. The single long take is incredible, and must have been absolutely insane to set up--it took over 2,000 actors! three orchestras! absolutely incredible post-production work!--but the experience is more than a gimmick. You wander through the Winter Palace like a ghost, witnessing hundreds of years' worth of Russian history along with the glorious architecture of the palace itself, accompanying a European who doesn't think highly of your surroundings, and time shifts back and forth. The grand duchesses do make an appearance, unaware of the fate they'll face in just a few years, but so do other representatives of Russian history both famous and nameless. It's absolutely glorious.

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scribby
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.

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LisaRhea
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!

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jimg2000
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 $$$.
Notes:
- 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.

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waromano
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

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Janice21383
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.

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florafromhawaii
Dec 03, 2015

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

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jimg2000
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.

j
jimg2000
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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