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December 1 - 8, 2004  

The Moving Image and Visual Representation


December 1 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Russian Ark (Russkij kovcheg)

Directed by Alexander Sokurov
Russia/Germany, 2002, color, 95 min.
With Sergei Dontsov, Mariya Kuznetsova, Maksim Sergeyev
Russian with English subtitles

Alexander Sokurov spent more than seven months rehearsing with some two thousand actors and extras for what would become the ultimate cinematic tour de force: a single, continuous 87-minute tracking shot. Using the Hermitage in St. Petersburg as his location, Sokurov was allowed only one day by the directors of the museum to complete the shot, and the results are magnificent. Journeying through two-hundred years of pre-Soviet Russian history, a stranger leads the camera through the halls of the venerated museum, encountering such notables as Nicholas and Alexandra, and Catherine the Great. As the film builds to its astonishing climax, Sokurov’s merging of technical marvel and artistic vision becomes fully realized.

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December 7 (Tuesday) 7 pm
December 8 (Wednesday) 7 pm

The Belly of an Architect

Directed by Peter Greenaway
UK, 1987, color, 118 min.
With Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson

This visually stunning work by Peter Greenaway chronicles the self-destructive decline of an American architect, in Rome to mount an exhibition on the eighteenth- century architect Etienne- Louis Boulée. An obsession with his stomach causes him to lose his wife, his creativity, and perhaps even his sanity. Extravagant in detail and color, the film—in true Greenaway form—is packed with art and architectural references, obsessions and omens, and exquisite traces of life and death.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700