Last week I saw an announcement from my local art house movie theatre, advertising the movie “Russian Ark” by Alexander Sokurov. Supposedly about 300 years of history of the Hermitage shot in a single one and half hour take. Sounds pretty amazing, right?
I’m not quite sure what I expected but not this. The narrator is some creepy voiced man, who doesn’t really understand what is going on and he talks to the only person who can see him, ‘the European’. The whispering between them drove me crazy. It kept me focused on ‘The European’ instead of on the amazing surroundings.
There really isn’t a plot throughout the story. Every time you enter a new room, a new scene starts. We see Nicolas II and his family having dinner, an audience with Nicolas I and Catherine the Great. However, we sort of fall into their scenes, and there is no backstory whatsoever. I found it very confusing and tiring to watch.
I really did like watching the Hermitage pass by, seeing the amazing paintings and grand balls. I do hope I can visit it for real in the future.
I thought this was a new movie, but apparently, it was made in 2002. Who knew?