Sokurov: Early Masterworks [3 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD]

Russian director Alexander Sokurov is perhaps best known to U.S. arthouse fans for his groundbreaking drama Russian Ark (2002) - a wildly ambitious drama that enlisted over two thousand actors and required them to hit every mark and cue in one perfect 96-minute take. In truth, however, Sokurov has built an entire career for himself as one of the most vital and original filmmakers on the international stage. This box set offers three additional features by Sokurov. Whispering Pages (1994) features a nameless man wandering through decomposing catacombs and encountering a series of literary archetypes from such authors as Dostoyevsky and Kafka; Stone (1992) travels to the Anton Chekhov Museum, where a museum guard and a mysterious older man cross paths; and Save and Protect (1989) reworks Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary as a surrealistic tragedy on the theme of universal suffering.
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Special Features

  • Disc One - Whispering Pages (blu-ray)
  • Soviet Elegy (1989, 37 minutes), a documentary by Alexander Sokurov
  • An Example of Intonation (1991, 48 minutes), a documentary by Alexander Sokurov
  • Questions about Cinema (2008, 60 minutes), a documentary by Alexander Sokurov
  • Disc two - Stone (dvd)
  • Audio commentary by film critic and curator James Quandt
  • Diary of St. Petersburg: Kozintsev's Flat (1998, 48 minutes), a documentary by Alexander Sokurov
  • "The House the Chekhov Built" (30 minutes), a BBC audio program on Anton Chekhov's house in Yalta, the setting for Stone
  • Sonata for Hitler (1979-1989, 10 minutes), a short film by Alexander Sokurov
  • Disc three - Save and Protect (dvd)
  • SD copy of Whispering Pages (1994, 70 minutes)


In his constant quest for innovative and avant-garde cinematic expression, director Alexander Sokurov has set himself apart, and his films are highly prized by those who relish very obscure, esoteric works which focus on skillfully photographed and emotionally evocative imagery. In the meditative scenario of this black-and-white production, filmed at the Anton Chekhov museum, a young museum guard and an enigmatic older man (possibly the long-dead writer himself) have a number of inconclusive but interesting encounters. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Soviet Elegy
Tikhiye Stranitsy
This Russian-German co-production represents abstract filmmaking at its purist. Literary themes are presented in a hallucinatory manner as it presents images of grim buildings, street beggars and a series of labyrinthine passages. The film contains minimal dialog. It was filmed in black and white with only a hint of color. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Spasi i Sokhrani
Sexual excess eventually degenerates into madness in this extremely explicit (and repetitive) feature from the late Soviet period in Russia. The story is loosely based on Madame Bovary and it takes place in a remote region of Russia, and is only vaguely anchored in time. It concerns the efforts of a highly imaginative and sensitive doctor's wife to bring some life to her dull existence. Certainly her plodding husband is no help. Thus, when she is not exclaiming in French, she seeks out, and has sex with, seemingly the whole male population of her town - in fields, in wagons - anywhere, and everywhere. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Primer Intonatsii

Cast & Crew

  • Leonid Mozgovoy
    Leonid Mozgovoy
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.