Russian Ark

Went and saw Sokurov’s Russian Ark, aka Russkij kovcheg tonight at Rainbow. Bloody place was packed, too. This is the film everyone is talking about that was shot in a single take – and in uncompressed HDTV format. One shot, 96 minutes. It takes place in one interior location, the Hermitage Museum, but involves hundreds of actors and actresses in period costumes, able to perform like clockwork.

Historically, it is very significant. Technically, it was a stunning achievement. Unfortunately, the plot left something to be desired (what was with the narrator anyway? Was he travelling through time? Or a dream?). I think if it took place in the Met or the ROM, it would be more relevant, but it’s in Russian and about Russian history, which I really don’t “get”.