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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Aleksandr Sokurov

Russian Ark

Released in 2002, Russian Ark drew astonished praise for its technique: shot with a Steadicam  in one ninety-six-minute take, it presented a dazzling whirl of movement as it followed the Marquis de Custine as he wandered through the vast Winter Palace in St. Petersburg—and through three hundred years of Russian history.
            This companion to Russian Ark addresses all key aspects of the film, beginning with a comprehensive synopsis, an in-depth analysis, and an account of the production history. Birgit Beumers goes on from there to discuss the work that went into the now-legendary Steadicam shot—which required two thousand actors and three orchestras—and she also offers an account of the film’s critical and public reception, showing how it helped to establish director Aleksandr Sokurov as perhaps the leading filmmaker in Russia today.
 

112 pages | 25 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2016

Film Studies


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Reviews

“Beumers’s book is an excellent primer on the movie, contextualizing it, and presenting the critical reception and scholarly analysis the motion picture has inspired. At once a production history, a film analysis and a history of the museum, the Chair of the Film Studies Department at Aberystwyth University has written a concise and thought-provoking volume. Based on interviews, research and an interpretation of the digital movie, Beumers explores the contradictions and controversies for viewers, scholars and critics responding to the film, which celebrates Russian modern history and Russian nationalism by focusing on an international collection of Western European Art, featuring mostly art collected by the strong and charismatic Empress Catherine II.”

PopMatters

Table of Contents

Note on transliteration
Acknowledgements
KinoSputniks general editors’ preface
List of illustrations
Production credits
Plot summary
 
Chapter 1: Introduction and production history
 
Chapter 2: Contexts
 
Chapter 3: Film analysis
 
Chapter 4: Themes and motifs
 
Chapter 5: Reception
 
Conclusion: The sinking ship
 
References and select bibliography
Notes

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