Perhaps the most rarefied of working filmmakers, Alexander Sokurov may also possess contemporary cinema's most original vision. Feel free to stump for the dynamo of your choice, but by comparison, Godard, Kiarostami, Hou, Angelopoulos, Tarr, and Wong are realists: their films accessibly objective, their temporal journeys palpably human, their cultural ideas easily scanned. Indeed, legacy builders like Tarkovsky, Antonioni, and Bergman are laymen's metaphysicians when weighed against Sokurov, who often floats off into his own ether, unconcerned whether his audience will follow. Only avant-gardists care less for drama, character, and psychology. An instinctual poet in a world marketplace of narrative orthodoxy—a Pound among paperback novelists—Sokurov launches from a recognizably historical or cultural starting line, but he runs the race alone, engaging the powers of heaven and earth to refashion experience to his expressionistic... More >>>