starring Sergei Dontsov, Mariya Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy, David Giorgobiani
screenplay by Boris Khaimsky & Anatoli Nikiforov & Svetlana Proskurina & Alexander Sokurov
directed by Alexander Sokurov
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover Russian Ark is a film that hoists its middle finger high against the cultural practices of nearly a hundred years. Implicitly appalled by the twin forgettings of communist and free-market logic, director Alexander Sokurov retaliates by erecting a monument to the proceeding three centuries of image-making--one that marks the entrance to a crypt perhaps, as Sokurov knows that time is running out on its preservation. Surely there's a heaping dose of snobbery in his approach, and a whole lot of wilful obscurity as well, but his expression of his thesis is so passionate and his technical execution is so seamless and beautiful that I could have forgiven him almost anything.