Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov's quadrilogy of Power, following Moloch (1999) and Taurus (2001), focuses on Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan's defeat in World War II when he is finally confronted by General Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival.
A father and his son live together in a roof-top apartment. They have lived alone for years in their own private world, full of memories and daily rites. Sometimes they seem like brothers. ... See full summary »
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.
From a misty night into the dark exposition rooms of a museum to ponder philosophically at paintings by 'Pieter Jansz Saenredam', 'Hercules Pieterszoon Seghers', Hendrikus van de Sande ... See full summary »
The existential protagonist is a hungry, homeless, socially isolated, and socially alienated young man living on the streets of an anonymous Russian big city in the 19th Century. He's ... See full summary »
During production, this film was often rumored to be shot in a single take, making it an ideal sequel to Aleksandr Sokurov's previous 'museum film', Russian Ark (2002). Eventually, a more traditional editing technique was chosen by Sokurov to tell the story. See more »
I am sorry to say: what a chore. Who is Sokurov and how does he get any producer to give him money to produce such drudgery? The man had already lost track (and sight) of his audience when he inflicted on it his overly long and deliberately confusing "Russian Ark", whose only redeeming value was its one terrific camera trick. Russian Ark, as a historical documentary, had no substance, no coherence, and displayed both huge gaps and bias. Alas, here is our mad Russian director at the task again , examining this time the Louvre museum, and extemporaneously droning on well, what exactly is his topic? A mishmash of disconnected anecdotes, vague philosophical remarks, ridiculous or pompous -and mostly reactionary- statements on art and history. And, as he did in Russian Ark, he reprises his lethal habit of using as our "guide" an annoying character about whom we know nothing and care little about. In Russian Ark, it was an exasperating curmudgeon who literally whined about everything from room to room; Here, it is apparently Sokurov himself, seen only in silhouette as the narrator, speaking via Skype to a mysterious ship captain named Dirk, or via camera to count Wolff Metternich, or more often than not, to himself indeed while preaching to his captive theater audience. For every one good idea, 10 bad ones kick it off the screen. In the 1950s in France, was a filmmaker/playwright/actor and bon vivant named Sacha Guitry who produced, directed and acted in many self aggrandizing movies about France history ("Si Versailles m'était Conté"is the most famous), but while picking and choosing his anecdotes as director and acting in them as the narrator - like Sokurov- Guitry was always witty, fast and light on his feet: he never lost track of his audience's needs and pleasure. History was his pretext, entertainment his goal. Mr Sokurov is no Sacha Guitry. I venture to say that, between the mysterious Captain Dirk recurrently moping on his ship, "Marianne" trolling around the Louvre with her ecstatic and repeated utterance of "Liberty, Egalité, Fraternité", and Napoleon himself running around the Louvre like a petulent child bragging "it is me!", one can actually question the sanity of the director responsible for a script as sophomoric as this. I saw the film in a Berkeley theater: the movie went on for what seemed like 4 hours -when it is only 90 minutes. Those were 90 minutes I never wish to waste again.
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