Russian Ark - Picture Palace
Russian Ark is a 2002 experimental historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. In Russian Ark, an unnamed narrator wanders through the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, and implies that he died in some horrible accident and is a ghost drifting through the palace. In each room, he encounters various real and fictional people from various periods in the city's 300-year history. He is accompanied by "the European", who represents the Marquis de Custine, a 19th-century French traveler.
The film was recorded entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum on 23 December 2001 using a one-take single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot. Russian Ark uses the fourth wall device extensively, but repeatedly broken and re-erected. At times the narrator and the companion interact with the other performers, whilst at other times they pass unnoticed.
"One of the most astonishing films ever made."