Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Russian Ark - *****
If you do not know anything about it, here is what you would commonly hear about it: "The whole film is just one shot, and it spans the whole 96 minutes of the film".
Second is that in the course of the film, you would see stunning pictures, I am saying stunning - you got to see it.
This is not really what the film is about. For starter, Russian Ark is not the first single-shot movie (first being Hitchcock's). It is not even the second one. So no novelty here. There was a huge logistics to make this happen but yet again that is not what makes a film a memorable one.
Also, I have seen films with stunning pictures and I did not like them. Movies of the late Theo Angelopoulos were among them - he may rest in peace but I would not withhold my view. Weeping Meadow was weak, really weak - and I cannot understand why the Cannes prize. Anyhow - enough talking behind the passed away.
The film is about history. Well, that was obvious, wasn't? Covering three centuries of Russian Monarchy history in an hour and half with location being Hermitage museum. And showing so many historical artefacts, painting, people, costumes... Yet this obviousness transpires towards the end of the film into something greater. It is a celebration of us mortal beings and our vague yet eternal legacy. Story so many dead people narrated by the spirits of two dead strangers - yet it is a celebration of life.
Finale is worth watching the whole thing if you get bored halfway. Stick with it and you will be graciously awarded for your patience.
This is 5 stars and immediately among my top 100 movies of all time.