June 21, 2004

The Cranes Are Flying by Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957 ; the criterion collection

this is one of the most beautifully shot, well-directed films i've ever seen. Kalatozov uses extreme high and low angles shots for at least the first twenty minutes of this film, and rather than come off as awkward, pretentious, and cold, it heightens the film's narrative and gives it a poetic spirit befitting two people in love. the film centers around a young couple deeply in love caught by a burgeoning war. had i not known this film was russian i would've been sure it was italian. the passion Kalatozov creates in his shots and the performances of the two leads is simply amazing. the film does lose some steam after the first half (understandably so, seeing as the story veers into war and its possible consequences). but it's worth renting just for the beauty of 75% of the film. one of the many gems that can be found in the wonderful Criterion Collection.


Posted by Sam | 1:12 PM |