- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 36 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: September 9, 2003
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Fox Lorber
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Access
- Interactive Menus
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Premiere - 12/01/2002
"...One of the greatest technical accomplishments in the history of the visual arts..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/06/2002
"...The movie is a meditation on the love and envy that Russia has always felt toward Europe..."
Box Office - 03/01/2003
"...Rich in the colorful and opulent costumes and historical details of the Imperial eras, RUSSIAN ARK moves at a lively pace..."
Los Angeles Times - 01/10/2003
"RUSSIAN ARK is an astonishing technological feat, but what is even more remarkable is that the technology does not overwhelm the artistry..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2003
"...Dazzling....RUSSIAN ARK's examination of the role in our lives of history and art makes it a fascinating and absorbing film..."
Total Film - 01/01/2004
"[A]n astonishing technical feat."
A visually hypnotizing cinematic feat, RUSSIAN ARK is Alexsandr Sokurov's spellbinding ode to St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum. Shot in one fluid 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 supply the action of the film, whether dancing the mazurka in a lively ballroom, performing a military salute, or watching a theater performance. The Marquis (Sergey Dreiden), an aged but limber European dressed in solid black, is the film's charismatic guide, leading the narrator--who is the unidentified voice behind the camera--through each doorway and into each gallery in a sweeping tour of the Hermitage. While the Marquis interacts with some of the guests, debating about Italian art with a couple of Russian scholars, delighting over rich paintings by Rubens and Van Dyck with an angelic blind woman, taking a lively brunette for a spin on the dance floor, others do not see him. Even the narrator suspects that the Marquis is a ghost, long dead and wandering the Hermitage in a quest to better understand history. Time periods, indicated by style of dress, fluctuate between the 1700s and the present. Famous Russian figures, such as Peter the Great, Nicholas I, and Catherine the Great appear and then disappear, with no explanation of their roles. Between the Marquis and the narrator, confusion reigns. They are spectators and trespassers in this mysterious space, trying to find their way.
- Theatrical release: October 18, 2002 (NY)
November 2002 (NATIONAL)