The Sun (Solntse)

August 15, 1945: a shocked Japan hears the voice of divine leader Emperor Hirohito for the first time, as he implores his people to cease all military activity, initiating a formal end to WWII and the beginning of a new period of American Occupation, led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Acclaimed Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (“Russian Ark,” “Mother and Son” “Alexandra”) creates an incisive, eerie portrait of the enigmatic Hirohito during the twilight of the war, as he faces surrender and renunciation of his divine status. Issey Ogata (who played the father in YI YI) gives a mesmerizing performance as the defeated emperor whose legendary meetings with MacArthur determine the fate of his nation and lay the foundation for Japan’s phoenix-like postwar reconstruction. “Wonderfully eccentric and fascinating … As a portrait of pathology – that of Japan and of Hirohito both – it’s terrific.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times. [Synopsis courtesy of Film Forum]


Set against the backdrop of the Louvre Museum’s history and artworks, master director Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark) applies his uniquely personal vision onto staged re-enactments and archives for this fascinating portrait of real-life characters Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich and their compulsory collaboration at the Louvre Museum under the Nazi Occupation. These two remarkable men – enemies then collaborators – share an alliance which would become the driving force behind the preservation of museum treasures. In its exploration of the Louvre Museum as a living example of civilization, FRANCOFONIA is a stunning and urgently relevant meditation on the essential relationship between art, culture, and history.

Russian Ark

A visually hypnotizing cinematic feat, RUSSIAN ARK is a spellbinding ode to St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum. Shot in one fluid take, the camera floats & careens through the lavish corridors of the museum, following the ghost-like narrator & The “Marquis” through different time periods and events, from the 1700s to the present, interacting with a period dressed cast of 867 actors.