The hyperreal film club presents: Russian Ark @ Co-Lab Projects, Austin [14 September]

The hyperreal film club presents: Russian Ark

20:00 - 23:00

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Co-Lab Projects
721 Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701
the hyperreal film club
DEMO Gallery

Directed by Alexander Sokurov
Cinematography by Tilman Büttner

Doors and live DJ set with Ariel Lagunas Olachea at 8pm
9pm «Without» and Untitled with director Faiza Kracheni
910pm Russian Ark

Admission is free (donations accepted to help hfc cover drinks)
Entry door locked once screening begins so please be on time


“If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening. «Russian Ark» spins a daydream made of centuries.

Every review of «Russian Ark» begins by discussing its method. The movie consists of one unbroken shot lasting the entire length of the film, as a camera glides through the Hermitage, the repository of Russian art and history in St. Petersburg. The cinematographer Tillman Buttner, using a Steadicam and high-def digital technology, joined with some 2,000 actors in an tight-wire act in which every mark and cue had to be hit without fail; there were two broken takes before the third time was the charm.

If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening.

The subject of the film, which is written, directed and (in a sense) hosted by Alexander Sokurov, is no less than three centuries of Russian history. The camera doesn't merely take us on a guided tour of the art on the walls and in the corridors, but witnesses many visitors who came to the Hermitage over the years. Apart from anything else, this is one of the best-sustained ideas I have ever seen on the screen. Sokurov reportedly rehearsed his all-important camera move again and again with the cinematographer, the actors and the invisible sound and lighting technicians, knowing that the Hermitage would be given to him for only one precious day.

If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening.

After a dark screen and the words «I open my eyes and I see nothing,» the camera's eye opens upon the Hermitage and we meet the Marquis (Sergey Dreiden), a French nobleman who will wander through the art and the history as we follow him. The voice we heard, which belongs to the never-seen Sokurov, becomes a foil for the Marquis, who keeps up a running commentary. What we see is the grand sweep of Russian history in the years before the Revolution, and a glimpse of the grim times afterwards.

If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening.” [editor’s note: If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening.]

Take a look:


About the short:
Faiza Kracheni (b. 1988) is a multimedia artist and musician living and working in Austin, Texas. Her work primarily focuses with film, in such formats as Super 8, 16mm and 35mm drawing inspiration for her work from subculture movements such as punk, fetish, and religion/ritual.

She currently serves as the Programs/Education Director of arts non-profit Motion Media Arts Center.

Without is an art piece meant to be played at a loud volume. The purpose of this piece is for the viewer to experience the sighs & sounds of immigrant voices in the US.

Untitled is an exploration of human and gender.


Hyperreal film club is an eternal time and place for new friends, old friends, freaks, geeks, enemies, lovers and ghosts to come watch some neat flicks. The ongoing series visits a set of cinematic tongues unique to individual films and the tangled relationships we form with these living images in the sacred hour+ span. From delight to disgust, abjection to adoration, there are powerful vibes radiating all around.
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