Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Alternate title: Francophonia
France/Germany, 2015. Idéale Audience, Zero One Film, N279 Entertainment, Arte France Cinema, Musée du Louvre, Paris, Eurimages, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmforderungsanstalt, Deutscher Filmforderfonds, Netherlands Fund for Film, MEDIA Programme of the European Union. Screenplay by Aleksandr Sokurov. Cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel. Produced by Pierre Olivier Bardet, Olivier Pere. Music by Murat Kabardokov. Film Editing by Hansjorg Weissbrich. Toronto International Film Festival 2015.
Alexander Sokurov returns to the world of museum filmmaking that brought him such critical acclaim with Russian Ark in 2002. This time he looks at the Louvre as the central symbol of French cultural contribution to the arts, much of it focusing on World War II and the compromises of the country divided by a Nazi government and the collaborationist Vichy regime. Beautifully rendered file footage is artfully combined with Bruno Delbonnel’s stunning aerial shots of the museum and the city beyond for something that is thoughtful and intelligent, though rarely provocative or unforgettable. Sokurov could be a lot more eccentric in his collage work, or more conventional in the narrative scenes that involve fictional recreations of real personalities. The middle ground that the film resides in makes for pleasant but unremarkable viewing.