2000 cast members; 3 orchestras; 33 rooms; 300 years; all in one take.
Andrei Sukurov’s hypnotic journey through St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum is truly a sight to behold. Shot in one take (99 minutes!), Russian Ark presents the story of a French aristocrat and his epic journey, which spans 300 years of pre-Revolution Russia.
Astonishing is the first word that springs to mind. To choreograph this epic is one thing, but to choreograph it before having access to the museum, which was then only available for shooting for one day, is quite another. Additionally, the cinematographer had technical troubles on the first two shoots, but they completed the take on the third.
Russian Ark may not be for everyone because its style could be mistaken as naval-gazing. However, if you love history, culture and art, and the process of filmmaking, then this is an absolute must-see.