Mesmerizing, poetic, and emotionally powerful. This film also contains some of the most lush and fluid camera movement in cinematic history. Every frame is packed with complex symmetry, exquisite detail, and beautifully cinematography. This film is an essential piece and masterwork of Russian cinema.
The star is obviously the masterful camerawork, which creates several breathtaking sequences that border on avant-garde. The rousing sentimentalism that closes the film is well-earned considering the tragic events that precede. I'm just still in awe at the execution of much of the film.
Haven't expected for a moment this would be so cold. To employ a J. Kristeva disjunction, "Cranes" is symbolic (carries a structure & fine editing acc. to best standards; is adamant about the martially Utopian, off-front line circumscription of civilian duty as in an unintentional "Meine Ehre heißt Treue" which makes it less detestable than Mizoguchi's "Poppies" though) but never semiotic (poetic, musical, feminine).