The #Filmhouse40 selection from 2003 is Aleksandr Sokurov's bravura cinematic feat, Russian Ark (movie), screening from a 35mm print.
Original 2003 blurb:
Russian Ark seems certain to become one of cinema's defining moments, when a strategy of breathtaking simplicity is first executed with total conviction. Imagine a single, unbroken tracking shot that reveals both a landmark and a whole culture. The landmark in question is St. Petersburg's Hermitage, now a vast museum, but once the Winter Palace of the tsars. What's revealed in Sokurov's trip through space and time, swirling through the sumptuous galleries and salons, is a series of vignettes from the history of modern Russia, from the time of Peter and his daughter Catherine up to 1913, the twilight of the Romanovs.
Our guides are the Marquis de Custine, author of a famous 19th century account of Russia, and the filmmaker himself, sceptical and invisible. Is it documentary or fiction? Neither, really - more a kind of dream-like interrogation of the ghosts that haunt this 'art' of Russian history. Startlingly original - Ian Christie, London Film Festival (abridged).
Matinee: £3.50/£2.00, Evening: £5.50/£4.00