Russian Ark (2002)


“Sir. Sir. A pity you’re not here with me. You would understand everything. Look. The sea is all around. And we are destined to sail forever, to live forever. ” – The Time Traveler

Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Jul 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A man is led through a museum where he meets various characters and figures from history.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been intrigued in seeing ever since my friend Jay from Life Vs. Film mentioned it to me a while back.

The idea to have an entire movie shown in one continuous shot is an amazing idea and from a technical perspective this film is amazing.

Unfortunately, the narrative has a much larger problem since there doesn’t seem to really be a comprehensible storyline for us to try and follow and understand.

This film is among the 1001 Films to see Before you die and I do agree that it should be seen since it manages to accomplish something that no other film has managed to do; shoot an entire film ion one day on the 4th try.

Yes, this must have been a nightmare to coordinate and choreograph yet certain scenes look amazing despite the fact that it’s hard to understand what is truly going on because nothing of real significance actually happens in the 90+ minutes of this film.

This film prove sthat something like this can be done and I hope someone else tries it again in the future with the enhancements of an interesting story.

Bottom Line – A technical wonder yet lacks any real or comprehensible narrative. This is a truly a film that needs to be seen due to the way it was filmed in one long take, yet nothing interesting happens in the 90+ minutes of the film.  I liked the fact that this film proves that things like this can be done and I would be very interested in seeing the idea perfected with an interesting story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #1 – Shot in a single take. The first three attempts were cut short by technical difficulties, but the fourth was successful. (From IMDB)

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #2 – Among the many problems that plagued the one-day-only production, there was a considerable language barrier. Director Aleksandr Sokurov speaks only Russian, and cinematographer Tilman Büttner speaks only German, so a translator followed the duo around (along with Büttner’s seven-man crew) to keep the communication open. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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3 thoughts on “Russian Ark (2002)

  1. This is a film where having a grasp of Russia’s history really helps. The person who told me about this movie also sent a short list of articles to read before watching and it helped out quite a bit. It’s pretty much a history of St .Petersburg spread over about 300 years and you kind of have to know who most of the important characters in the film are. The story clicks right into place with that knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2002 |

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