Fandor’s Sean Axmaker revisits the grueling, precise production of Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark, a 90-minute film shot and presented as a single take–the very first of its kind.
He writes, “Russian Ark sweeps the viewers not just through the physical space of the Hermitage and the masterworks on display but through hundreds of years of Russian history, all in a single, graceful, sublime continuous shot, the likes of which have never been accomplished before or since. It’s a metaphor for the transporting power of artifacts and art and historical preservation to carry us into the past, certainly, and a rumination on the long history that has played out in the rooms of the Hermitage. But it is a rich, evocative, sublime canvas in its own right, an immersive, transporting cinematic journey unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s unlikely we’ll ever see anything like it again.”
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