Russian Ark (single-shot film)
Posted 26 December 2002 - 10:35 PM
in Alexander Sokurov's haunting and poetic and lavish film about the Hermitage/Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, among other personages, the legendary Alla Ossipenko appears as visitor of the galley standing in front of Rembrandt's great "Danae," before which she gestures her hand in attitudes similar to that of the reclining figure in the painting.
In addition, a fact that seems not have pointed out at all in any of the reviews i've read, the central visitor/raconteur whom the camera and cameraman follow for nearly the full 90-min. duration of the film, is meant to be the Marquis de Custine, who wrote a famous (or infamous) memoir of a 3 mo. trip to Russia in 1839, called "La Russie en 1839" (translated a recently as 1989 in the US as "Empire of the Czar: A Journey Through Eternal Russia." Though the Marquis was given the Czar's blessing to make his trip around Russia, the thoughts he published about the country, oftentimes critical of the autocracy and character(s) he observed, were considered scandalous by the power-that-be and his work banned from being circulated in Russia during the time of the Czars.
Also, the film's final grand segment, a ball during the time of Nicholas II, is graced by a heavenly Glinka mazurka, conducted by V. Gergiev and danced quite beautifully in the work of a choreographer whose name crawled by too quickly in the credits for me to catch.
To quote blurb writers, "Russian Ark" would seem a "must-see" for anyone with more than a passing interest in Russia and its ways.
If anyone here learns of DVD release of this film, please post the particulars. It would be a "must-buy" on my list.
Posted 27 December 2002 - 12:11 AM
Posted 27 December 2002 - 04:17 AM
Posted 27 December 2002 - 06:17 AM
Posted 04 February 2003 - 08:41 PM
There is a palace near Tsarskoe Selo, called Pavlovsk, that displays a sixty piece toilet set of Sevres, which was a gift from Marie Antoinette to Maria Feodoravna, wife of Catherine the Great's son Paul.
Pavlovsk was also the place where Glinka in 1839 was inspired to write his "Waltz Fantasie", also known as the "Pavlovsk Waltz".
I hope Alexander Sokurov's next film is about Pavlovsk.
Posted 07 February 2003 - 10:33 AM
Posted 07 February 2003 - 06:14 PM
I'll never forget my trip to The Hermitage. My tour guide (Kira Ezikova) made it so interesting, I could have stayed inside the museum for days.
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