Russian Ark

Alexandr Sokurov

Russia/Germany 2002, 96 min.

The film departs from such semi-essayistic Sokurov works as Oriental Elegy (1996), and although it shares certain illustrated-history aspirations with Whispering Pages (1993), it is simultaneously more realist – comprised of one single take with elaborately staged actors as opposed to the layered, foggy imagery of Whispering Pages – and more artificial, because the splendour of a vanished Imperial Russia is vividly and splendidly re-created. By comparison, not much in *Whispering Pages is either vivid or splendid.

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