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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Russian Ark
Genre: Special Interest

Reviewed In Issue 78 (Nov 2003) Of Widescreen Review®

Sergei Dreiden

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 3
DD Sound Rating: 3
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 4
Internet Links

Special Features
Special features include producer Jens Meurer English audio commentary track, a 43-minute making-of documentary (in English), a 48-minute Mon Paradis-Der Winterpalast documentary (subtitled in English), six minutes worth of interviews, and filmographies.

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Wellspring
(Catalog Number): FLV5382
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Rating Reason):

(Retail Price): $29.98
(DVD Type): Single Side, Dual Layer (DVD9)
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 99
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2002
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 09/09/03
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Alexander Sokurov
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
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(Costume Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Editor): Subscribe Now!
(Supervising Sound Editors): Subscribe Now!
(Re-Recording Mixers): Subscribe Now!
(Executive Producers): Subscribe Now!
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  DVD Picture Information

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(Measured DVD Letterbox Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Sound Information

(DVD Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
"Russian Ark" is the first feature film done in a single take; the longest uninterrupted shot ever in film history. Through the eyes of an unseen narrator who embarks on a journey through the Hermitage Theater And Museum, we are led through 300 years of Russian history. And when our unknown visitor meets up with a 19th century stranger (Dreiden), he finds himself in the company of a tour guide who leads him from 18th century Russia to the Great Royal Ball of 1913. (Tricia Littrell)

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD exhibits an HD-originated picture that opens with an appropriately cold appearance. Shortly, the story moves inside the Hermitage Theater, to a warmer, richer color palette with lots of golden hues. However, contrast can seem a bit low at times. The picture on DVD often seems soft and smeared; a higher resolution medium (such as D-VHS or HD-DVD) would be needed to help replicate what it would be like to walk through the theater in person. Edge enhancement is not a problem, and there is minimal pixelization. (Suzanne Hodges)

The Dolby