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Russian Ark (2002)
"Russkiy kovcheg" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 11,111 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 166 user | 126 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A 19th century French aristocrat, notorious for his scathing memoirs about life in Russia, travels through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounters historical figures from the last 200+ years.

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(dialogue), , 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergey Dreyden ...
The Stranger (The Marquis de Custine)
Mariya Kuznetsova ...
Leonid Mozgovoy ...
The Spy
Mikhail Piotrovsky ...
Himself (Hermitage Director)
David Giorgobiani ...
Orbeli
Aleksandr Chaban ...
Boris Piotrovsky
Lev Eliseev ...
Himself
Oleg Khmelnitsky ...
Himself
Alla Osipenko ...
Herself
Artyom Strelnikov ...
Talented Boy
Tamara Kurenkova ...
Herself (Blind Woman)
Maksim Sergeyev ...
Natalya Nikulenko ...
Elena Rufanova ...
First Lady
Yelena Spiridonova ...
Second Lady
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Storyline

An unseen man regains consciousness, not knowing who or where he is. No one seems to be able to see him, except the mysterious man dressed in black. He eventually learns through their discussions that this man is a 19th century French aristocrat, who he coins the "European". This turn of events is unusual as the unseen man has a knowledge of the present day. The two quickly learn that they are in the Winter Palace of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the European who has a comprehensive knowledge of Russian history to his time. As the two travel through the palace and its grounds, they interact with people from various eras of Russian history, either through events that have happened at the palace or through the viewing of artifacts housed in the museum. Ultimately, the unseen man's desired journey is to move forward, with or without his European companion. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

2000 Actors. 300 years of Russian History. 33 Rooms at the Hermitage Museum. 3 Live Orchestras. 1 Single Continuous Shot. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | | | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 April 2003 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

El arca rusa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$75,925 (Australia) (9 May 2003)

Gross:

$37,439 (USA) (22 November 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because the Hermitage museum had to be shut down, the production had only one day to shoot the film. See more »

Goofs

During the opening section of the film, in which the unseen narrator walks/glides through the backstage area of the opera that is being performed, there is a moment in which you can distinctly see the shadow of the boom operator following the camera. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: The Anatomy of Hell (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Mazurka
(from opera "A Life For The Tsar")
Music by Mikhail Glinka
Performed by Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra
Conducted by Valery Gergiev
See more »

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User Reviews

 
9/10
16 February 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This documentary-type movie, done all in one long, unbroken take with a steadicam, has the camera basically hovering around a famous Russian museum for an hour and-a-half as the unseen film director (both by us and the others in the museum) makes comments, as if in a dream, and converses with a French, former diplomat from the 1800s. It's a mix of a museum tour, Russian history, and performance art -- Catherine the Great appears at one point, desperately looking for the toilet. I liked it because it's about the closest thing to a dreamstate you can get in film, something like the long tracking shots in Tarkovsky's movies; I didn't get a lot of the references to Russian historical figures, but it doesn't really matter. However, if you know Russian history, you may get extra enjoyment out of it and might latch onto the sarcastic bits better than I did. I think this is a real achievement; a perfect example of how style is substance. 9/10


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