Russian Ark (2002)





Director:  Aleksandr Sokurov

Starring:  Sergei Dontsov (The Stranger, The Marquis de Custine), Mariya Kuznetsova (Catherine The Great), Leonid Mozgovoy (The Spy), Mikhail Piotrovsky (Himself, Hermitage Director), David Giorgobiani (Orbeli), Aleksandr Chaban (Boris Piotrovsky), Lev Yeliseyev (Himself), Oleg Khmelnitsky (Himself), Alla Osipenko (Herself), Artyom Strelnikov (Talented Boy), Tamara Kurenkova (Herself, Blind Woman), Maksim Sergeyev (Peter the Great), Natalya Nikulenko (Catherine the Great), Yelena Rufanova (First Lady), Yelena Spiridonova (Second Lady)

 time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history



This is a weird movie.  I'll just call it artsy-fartsy.  The producers made the movie in one take going through the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.  I gather that the two fellows going through the museum were more or less ghosts of some kind one which we could see and the other just a voice.  And in going through all these various rooms of the museum you do travel through Russia history because the historical figures are represented by actors in costumes, but you really don't learn much at all.  You would already have to know a good deal about Russian history and the Hermitage Museum to really enjoy the movie. 

I mostly thought it was a waste of my time.  I would rather have had a one take done with a guide telling me the history of the Hermitage and the historical figures associated with it and with something more in depth on the paintings.  But I was never an artsy-fartsy kind of guy.  More of a no-nonsense, don't waste my time kind of guy. 

I would not recommend it.  But, hey, if you're artsy-fartsy maybe you could get into it.  I could not. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

(P.S.  My wife even had a worse impression.)







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