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Robert. A Fortunate Life (1999)

Robert. Schastlivaya zhizn (original title)
Aleksander Sokurov brings the treasures of the Hermitage back into the light by making films about artists and their paintings. He has chosen the painter Hubert Robert, who spent a long ... See full summary »

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Aleksander Sokurov brings the treasures of the Hermitage back into the light by making films about artists and their paintings. He has chosen the painter Hubert Robert, who spent a long time in Italy, and whose preference was for creating ancient ruined landscapes and naturalistic portrayals of times past. He was successful with the wealthy, who bought his works from him. The camera pans across the paintings while Sokurov speaks of a happy era, when the artist was at one with the spirit of the times, and agreed with the taste of his clients. Just how far removed from us this is, is shown by pictures of a "Nô" performance which are inter-cut on the screen. No words are necessary to describe what everybody knows today. Written by Kurzfilmtage - international short film festival Oberhausen

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11 July 1999 (Portugal)  »

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Hubert Robert: Uma Vida Afortunada  »

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Must see along Russian Ark
15 April 2003 | by (Amsterdam) – See all my reviews

This is another film about "high art" before Russian ark. The artist, featured is Hubert Robert. The Hermitage asked Directors of Petersburg to make films about the European painters in this famous museum. This is the product of Sokurov.

Hubert Robert may not be the most famous painter in the Hermitage, but still there is a lot to learn about him. But it is not a documentary. The film starts with a traditional Japanese theater. What this has to do with an 18th century French painter? There is a connection apperently. With digital technology the mist and snow is added. Just like in other films of Sokurov he uses this technology in a way of a painter.

Greenaway might have said that film is a medium, too good to use it only to tell stories. Sokurov is already a long way beyond this description.


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