(aka "Russian Ark - Eine einzigartige Zeitreise durch die Eremitage" or "Russkij kovcheg")
directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
A visually hypnotizing cinematic feat, Russian Ark is Alexsandr Sokurov's spellbinding ode to St.Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum in Russia. Shot in one fluid 90 minute take using High Definition video cameras, the photography floats and careens through the lavish corridors of the museum, examining its architectural details while following a dreamlike plot. A cast of 867 actors, thousands of extras and three live orchestras supply the action of the film. Through the sheer determination of the director, or possibly a miracle, the first-ever single screen, single-take full-length feature was created.
From an interview
with Alexander Sokurov
I’m no theoretician, I’m a practical director. I have never had any desire to uncover anything new. This idea of the long, unbroken shot has existed for years. I never do anything new...I am interested only in classical form and content. In the professional world, much of the art has been utterly forgotten and therefore my conduct is sometimes seen as radical, but it’s simply that I remember a lot... the very fact of art itself is unshakeable; art was perfected long ago. Here, shooting in a single take is an achievement in formal terms, but more than that it is a tool with the aid of which a specific artistic task can be resolved. It’s just a tool.
Theatrical Release: 22 May 2002 (Cannes Film Festival)
DVD Review: Wellspring Media - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Wellspring Media Region 1 - NTSC|
Letterboxed WideScreen / 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
|Audio||Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)|
|Subtitles||English, French and none|
Studio: Wellspring Media, Inc.
DVD Release Date:
September 9, 2003
• Interviews (6:07)
Although I found the picture a shade soft, Wellspring certainly didn't scrimp on the Extras which total more than the running time of the entire film. I thought I would post although I haven't had opportunity to go through all of them in detail. The sound is quite good as are the yellow subtitles. Nicely done by Wellspring, although I have yet to determine the source of the image - Film or digital. I will report back later with a grading as well.
ADDITION: watched the Extras and thoroughly enjoyed them. In my comparison to the Russian DVD HERE it is nice to see that the colors are accurate if a little washed out and only a minute amount of cropping. This is a pretty good DVD. out of Gary W. Tooze
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