Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov's quadrilogy of Power, following Moloch (1999) and Taurus (2001), focuses on Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan's defeat in World War II when he is finally confronted by General Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival.
A father and his son live together in a roof-top apartment. They have lived alone for years in their own private world, full of memories and daily rites. Sometimes they seem like brothers. ... See full summary »
A 19th century French aristocrat, notorious for his scathing memoirs about life in Russia, travels through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounters historical figures from the last 200+ years.
The existential protagonist is a hungry, homeless, socially isolated, and socially alienated young man living on the streets of an anonymous Russian big city in the 19th Century. He's ... See full summary »
During production, this film was often rumored to be shot in a single take, making it an ideal sequel to Aleksandr Sokurov's previous 'museum film', Russian Ark (2002). Eventually, a more traditional editing technique was chosen by Sokurov to tell the story. See more »
A spectacular and unique essay film. At once a philosophical rumination on the connection between art and power, a history of the Louvre- particularly during the Vichy regime, and a surprisingly powerful and human narrative of the French civil servant and German aristocrat and Nazi officer who collaborated to save the collection from plunder.
Unflinchingly, the film equates art with plunder. As any serious study of the Louvre must, by definition, be this is a tale of Napoleon, invasion and imperialism. The Emperor is himself a character in the film, haunting the halls of his museum and reminding the director/narrator that all of the paintings are of him, for none of it would be there without his power.
The point is also made that Paris was sparred the devastation of the war in no small part because the leading Nazis loved classical art and wanted the Louvre's collections for Germany and themselves. In a real sense, then, the film must uneasily acknowledge, the German regime was responsible for the preservation of much European cultural treasure. The Louvre, though to a degree the very phenomenon of the art museum, is made to seem like a place where humanism, the preservation of the human image, and sheer political force, come together.
Sukarov's imagery is characteristically spectacular. The amazing, painterly light that he most often brings to the human face he here brings to the urban face of Paris. This film includes some of the best uses of crane shots that I think I've ever seen.
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