For casual cinephiles, Alexander Sokurov‘s “Russian Ark” is the movie that’s perhaps the biggest point of reference in the director’s filmography. The 2002 picture saw the filmmaker dance through the Russian State Hermitage Museum in a single unbroken take, and for his latest picture, “Francofonia,” he once again uses a house of the arts as the setting of his picture.
Starring Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Benjamin Utzerath, Vincent Nemeth, Johanna Korthals Altes, Jean-Claude Caër, and Andrey Chelpanov, and mixing documentary and dramatization, the Louvre-set picture tells the story of Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich, who worked at the museum during the Nazi occupation. Here’s the synopsis:
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.
“Francofonia” opens on April 1st. Watch below.