Elegiia dorogi (Elegy of a Voyage, 2001) is billed as a documentary, but the connection seems tenuous—if indeed it exists at all. The film is a series of oneiric images taken from a journey which a nameless narrator (even he questions who he is) mysteriously finds himself to be a passive participant of. We see him, but only from behind or looking down at his feet. A variety of modes of transport are used—walking, train, car, ship and even the suggestion of flight—to take the protagonist to a deserted, moonlit art gallery (in fact the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam). Here he looks round at the paintings (some of them missing, obviously hanging there only moments ago) before finding one labelled as being by Pieter Saenredam and dated 1765 which at first he thinks he painted. As the memories come back, he realises that he did not paint it himself but was standing by the artist at the time it was made. Surveying the canvas, he comments on its details, noting which ones the artist made up and which were actually observed. —Kinoeye
One of the most important directors in both Russian and world cinema, Alexander Sokurov is considered by many to be the spiritual heir of the great Andrei Tarkovsky. Sokurov — who has enjoyed a long creative relationship with Tarkovsky — has discounted such comparisons, but certain similarities between their works remain indelible: a predilection towards very long takes, natural performances by their actors, and an almost otherworldly use of natural sounds and music. And, perhaps most important, both directors are concerned with the essential questions of human existence and the state of the human spirit.
Sokurov was the son of a World War II veteran. His family moved around a good deal while Sokurov was growing up, and after finishing high school, he went to Gorki, Russia’s third largest city. There, he attended Gorki University and began to work as an assistant television director when he was 19. He continued to direct television programs for the Gorki station until 1975, and… read more
One of the best things I have ever seen in Cinema. I've been re-watching whole sequences from it over the last months, and every time I feel like dreaming of floating on a canvas from the Romantic era. Just a very few directors can craft films like this one, nowadays.
Elegy of a Voyage will remain in the forefront of my mind for quite some time.
Se 'elegia' quer dizer melancolia, tristeza, com Sokurov associe então poesia e beleza. Tendo o Boijmans Museum em Roterdã como lugar e suas obras como referência 'espiritual', seguimos com ele, seu narrador-personagem, pela memória - estradas e caminhos subjetivos. A neve cobre a tela e a imagem é, literalmente, instável como a própria realidade das ideias. Sokurov sonha junto com Eisenstein e Tarkovsky. Um deleite.