Aleksandr Sokurov

Petersburg Elegy, 1989

Ostensibly a documentary on the art, passion, and privileged life of famed Russian actor and singer Fyodor Chaliapin who emigrated to Europe after the dissolution of the Russian monarchy, and whose surviving family embarked on a long-awaited homecoming after a 60 year absence to their home in glasnost-era, market economy Russia, Petersburg Elegy is a… read more »

Days of Eclipse, 1988

In its metaphoric allusion to celestial descent, subconscious mysticism (or perhaps, lunacy), and alien terrestriality, Aleksandr Sokurov’s Days of Eclipse recalls the opening sequences of Julio Medem’s Tierra and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev as the camera follows the accelerated trajectory of an unseen projectile (the sound of an indecipherable voice perhaps suggests a conscious entity)… read more »

Mariya, 1988

Aleksandr Sokurov creates a visually poetic, elegant, and unforgettable synthesis of art and life in Mariya. The lush and textural initial sequence, shot using color film, presents the austere life of the titular Mariya – a robust, genial, and hard-working middle-aged collective farmer with an engaging smile – during an arduous flax harvest season in… read more »

Moscow Elegy, 1988

More allusive and evocative than biographical in content, Moscow Elegy is Aleksandr Sokurov’s tribute documentary to Russian filmmaker, friend, and mentor, Andrei Tarkovsky that concentrates on the iconic filmmaker’s final years in Western Europe. Incorporating thematically representative scenes from Tarkovsky’s last two, deeply spiritual, non-Russian films, Nostalghia and The Sacrifice, as well as behind the… read more »

Evening Sacrifice, 1987

Evening Sacrifice is tonally composed of two indelibly entrancing and hypnotically fluid images: a color sequence that captures the methodical precision of a military regiment deploying fireworks over the Neva River to the melancholic serenade of a nostalgic, old-fashioned ballad, that transitions to a sepia-toned footage of a crowd indiscriminately dispersing into the street amidst… read more »

Dmitri Shostakovich: Viola Sonata, 1986

Co-directed by Aleksandr Sokurov and Semen Aranovich, Dmitri Shostakovich: Viola Sonata is an emotionally lucid, understated, textural, and reverent biography of the highly influential, Soviet-era composer and pianist, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich. Using allusive, recurring imagery of a photograph of a young, physically fragile Shostakovich resting on his mother’s lap and a delirious shot of an… read more »

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