This is likely the most incredible handheld camera work I’ve ever seen. There are some truly inspiring, jaw-dropping moments in this film, things I really don’t think I’ve ever seen before. It’s kind of a shame the story itself can’t bear the weight of the phenomenal filmmaking going on here. It’s very, very good, but it has a few shortcomings.
Un film dove i veri protagonisti sono gli elementi della natura, con un predominio di acqua e fuoco, che letteralmente sovrastano i personaggi, il vento li sferza in tutte le sue vesti, la terra (sotto forma di diamanti) è il miraggio. Il tono fortemente propagandistico del film passa in secondo piano rispetto alla sua forza sperimentale e visionaria.
Filme que hace homenaje a las causa soviética. "Letter never sent" posee un discurso claro. Sacrificarse por la causa es casi una aspiración. Mediante esto, los personajes, en medio de una catástrofe natural, se convertirán mártires a fin de que su nación sea más independiente. En paralelo, Kalatozov desprende una estética brillante. El movimiento de cámara es calculado, creando además esa fuerza de planos.
It is amazing this astounding hallucinogenic masterwork has lain unknown since the late 1950's. Perhaps now in perspective we can understand Tarkovsky more as Kalatazov imbues the natural world with its own mystical terrors, and wonders, in highly expressionistic cinematography, music, and sound. The film also evokes another planet, hostile, unforgiving, returning human life to the cold, cruel earth, rivers and sky.
Blackest of blacks and whitest of whites. Great use of crossfades and landscape to create a labyrinth in the wilderness -you really do feel lost watching this. The story is somewhat lackluster. The psychological drama is only partially relatable and so things feel a bit hysterical during the second act.
Struggle for survival on the Siberian frontier, directed with searing intensity by Mikhail Kalatozov and featuring the dynamic, visceral cinematography of Sergei Urusevsky, gripping score, startling spatial sound effects, and another heartfelt, impassioned performance from Tatyana Samojlova.
I've never seen clouds used to better effect! Very creative use of rear projection, some fine hand-held camera work and extreme close-ups make this well-crafted film a treat that would be totally awesome on the big silver screen! Sometimes it goes a tad overboard, but that's like saying there are too many feathers in Hitchcock's The Birds.
A stunning craft went into this film, although its formal beauty and elegiac qualities are severely undermined by its nationalistic hollering and pacing problems, but its film language is so refined, the camera movements so sumptuous it makes for an almost obligatory viewing.