Media Mondays: Russian Ark

With so much emphasis on fast and furious storytelling in modern cinema, it’s refreshing to experience a movie that takes the time to linger. Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002) takes this to an almost fetishistic extreme in that the film is one long, unedited take. It’s an unbroken 96-minute tour through the Winter Palace, with the interesting twist of replicating a walk through time. Each room of the palace is occupied by people from various eras of Russian history, with exquisite costumes and choreography. It’s an experience at the expense of any actual storytelling, but you’ll likely find yourself holding your breath in disbelief at this impossibly long and gorgeously realized cinematic masterpiece.