Previously Played

RUSSIAN ARK

  • 1:30
  • 3:30
  • 5:40
  • 7:40
  • 9:40

$7 Member   $12.50 Regular

DIRECTED BY ALEXANDER SOKUROV

RUSSIAN ARK

(2002) “Where am I?” wonders our disembodied narrator, as, along with his equally confused companion, displaced 19th-century diplomat Sergey Dreiden, he wanders through centuries of Russian history, from Peter the Great to Nicholas I to Catherine the Great to Pushkin to the last great ball of Nicholas II before the Great War — all in one shot! In the dream of many a filmmaker (Hitchcock’s Rope), Ark was recorded in one continuous, uncut shot by iron man cameraman Tilman Büttner (Run Lola Run) as he Steadicamed 4/5 of a mile through thirty-three sets, all built within the Hermitage Museum in Petersburg, with 867 actors, hundreds more extras, three live orchestras, and hordes of techies waiting in the wings. Possible only thanks to a specially-developed portable hard drive recording system, Russian Ark is both an eye-popping technical achievement, a visually dazzling production, and a meditation on and elegy for the sweep of Russian history. Approx. 99 min. DCP

A KINO LORBER RELEASE

RUSSIAN ARK

REVIEWS

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*****! [5 STARS! highest rating]
[highest rating]
"A MIND-BOGGLING ACHIEVEMENT!  A HYPNOTIC, ENDLESS SWIRL [that] gets at a deep truth of the post-Soviet psyche, haunted by its legacy of czarist rule and Stalin-era sacrifice. This is as immersive - and as Shining-level spooky - as history gets."
– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

“ONE OF THE MOST STAGGERING TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA!”

– Jonathan Rosenbaum  

“ONE OF THE MOST ASTONISHING FILMS EVER MADE.”
– Roger Ebert

HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVEDSolaris notwithstanding, the year’s ultimate space odyssey is actually Sokurov’s sublime Russian Ark... A participant in the action, Büttner’s camera peers into windows and swims among the artworks. The terrarium effect is enhanced as people slip and fall on cue, sidling through the slightly wide-angle field of vision. One can only imagine the crazy minuet going on behind the Steadicam.... Builds in hypnotic intensity toward a suitably mind-boggling finale of the Hermitage’s last royal ball in 1913. In a final flourish, Sokurov’s camera cavorts behind and — coming off the grand staircase — pirouettes ahead to gaze back at the exiting throng, revealing more and more people as the narrator murmurs his farewell. History disappears into the Petersburg mist. The long day closes and the long take becomes its own meaning in this dazzling dance to the music of time.” 
– J. Hoberman

“Part pageant and museum tour, part theme-park ride and historical meditation, Russian Ark traverses two centuries of czarist Russia as smoothly as it crosses the Hermitage... We’re only just starting to grasp the dimensions of this formidable achievement.”
– Jonathan Rosenbaum

“By the time of the closing shot — twists of fog rising like spectres from a leaden sea — even the most stubborn viewer will be lying back in a state of happy hypnosis.” 
– Anthony Lane, The New Yorker