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Archive for July 8th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(Russia 2002 99m) DVD1/2

A Dance to the Music of Time

p  Andrei Deriabin, Jens Meurer, Karsten Stoter, Aleksandr Sokurov  d  Aleksandr Sokurov  w  Anatoli Nikiforov, Aleksandr Sokurov, Boris Khaimsky, Svetlana Proskurina  ph  Tilman Buttner  ed  Sergey Ivanov  m  Sergei Yevtushenko  art  Yelena Zhukova, Natalia Kochergina

Sergei Dreiden (The Marquis), Maria Kuznetsova (Catherine II – the Great), Leonid Mosgovoy (spy), Maxim Sergeyev (Peter the Great), Alexander Chaban (Boris Piotrovsky), David Giorgiobiani (Orbeli),

There is a great line at the end of Grand Hotel where Lewis Stone bemoans “it’s always the same.  People come.  People go.  Nothing ever happens.”  To the average filmgoer that would probably sum up Alexander Sokurov’s revolutionary experiment, shot entirely in one unbroken take (directly onto a computer hard drive), but it is so much more than that. 

            After an opening minute or two we follow a group of people in what looks like Napoleonic costume into a building which, it turns out, is the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.  We meet a darkly dressed individual who, it transpires, is a French diplomat from an earlier age, who is baffled that he is actually speaking Russian and talks to a ghostly narrator who only he can see.  From here on we are in dream time and come across various figures from Russia’s past (including numerous Tsars and Tsarinas).  (more…)

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