Russian Ark – Alexander Sokurov directed this experimental
historical drama film described by one reviewer as
three centuries of Russian history condensed into an
hour and a half. And Roger Ebert wrote, “[T]he
effect of the unbroken flow of images (experimented
with in the past by directors like Hitchcock and Max
Ophüls) is uncanny. If cinema
is sometimes dreamlike, then
every edit is an awakening.
Russian Ark spins a daydream
made of centuries.” The
camera follows an unnamed
narrator and a 19th-century
French traveler wandering
through the Winter Palace in
Saint Petersburg. In each room, they encounter real
and fictional people. The film was recorded entirely
in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage
Museum on Dec. 23, 2001, using a single 96-minute
Steadicam sequence shot. (2002. 1 hour 36 minutes)