Brian Trenchard-Smith on

Russian Ark

Released 2002
Distributor Wellspring Media

Director Alexander Sokurov’s camera leads us through the rooms of Russia’s Hermitage Museum in a single unbroken Steadicam shot for 96 minutes. The effect grows increasingly hypnotic as it becomes apparent that this non-stop march is in fact an escape through time with the onscreen narrator (Sergey Dreyden) playing the time-traveler, rubbing elbows with the notables of Russia’s 300 year old history. It culminates in a dizzying Grand Ball dance sequence that ends the film in appropriately celebratory fashion.

About Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.