Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines…and then communication stops. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to ward off spiritual numbness while Boris’s draft-dodging cousin makes increasingly forceful overtures. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, The Cranes Are Flying is a superbly crafted drama, bolstered by stunning cinematography and impassioned performances. —The Criterion Collection
Mikhail Kalatozov’s film career followed a circuitous path. By dint of birth, he belonged to the zeitgeist of the 20s, the generation of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Kozintsev and Vertov. However the long gaps in his filmography did not allow for a consistent development of cinematic style and theme. These ruptures are results of the fluctuating changes of the Soviet Union’s film policy. It’s shift from the avant-garde in the 1920s to a major cog in Stalin’s propaganda factory and finally its resurgence during the “thaw” of de-Stalinization. A Georgian by birth, Kalatozov’s early career had strong local roots. At the Tiblisi Film Studio, he apprenticed as a camera operator, writer and editor on films such Gulli and Gipsy Blood. His directorial career began with Their Empire and The Blind Woman.
His first major work was the experimental Salt for Svanetia, made in 1930. The film was an ethnographic portrait of the distinct culture of the people of Svanetia, a mountainous region in northwestern… read more
tatyana samojlova is improbably beautiful, and the film displays an impressive level of visual artistry. if only the ending didn't subjugate the much more compelling experience of individual suffering to nationalistic rhetoric—although this is relatively subtle as far as propaganda goes.
Uniquely poignant. this film has countless memorable scenes due to its visuals, Kalatozov's directorial approach, mise-en-scene and careful attention to detail and last but not least Tatyana Samojlova's performance. Urusevsky - an often forgotten colossus in cinematography. The man's work on this film and Soy Cuba, speaks for itself.
(Friday / April 2, 2010 / 1:30am)
“Love is a harmless mental illness.” These details are what this film is about: Courage and happiness are visible when two people know they have nothing but… read review