96 minutes, no cuts, in 96 words

Baltimore Vivat!

February 26, 2003|By Rob Hiaasen

Moulin Rouge meets Blair Witch but comparisons miscarry the moment a blind woman strokes a marble sculpture in Alexander Sokurov's one-take Russian Ark and even the artless recognizes novel art appreciation, as the camera dodges costumed extras in the Hermitage Art Museum, where a puckish guide (and sad, dancing angel?) leads us past dead czars, old masters, new subtitles and nearly into the arms of that beautiful blind woman and, trust us, this is no multiplex matinee but a 96-minute film that brings a museum to life, a coup which might be worth a thousand words.

Russian Ark screens tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Charles Theatre. Tickets are $10; $5 for students and senior citizens. Call 410-727-FILM.

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