Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Cranes Are Flying (1957)

*****
USSR

One of the great Soviet films as well as one of the great movie love stories, this increasingly overlooked Khrushchev-era Palme d'or winner tells of two swooning lovers separated and gradually destroyed by WWII. With some exquisite photography, a grand old-fashioned orchestral score and several astonishing impressionistic sequences, director Mikhail Kalatozishvili (who nearly three decades earlier helmed the similarly brilliant though forgotten Salt for Svanetia) amplifies the already-heightened romanticism of the story in a way that, rather than soapy, becomes intensely affecting.

dir: Mikhail Kalatozishvili (aka Mikhail Kalatozov)
wr: Viktor Rozov
ph: Sergei Urusevsky
ed: Mariya Timofeyeva
m: Moisey Vaynberg
cast: Tatyana Samojlova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasili Merkuryev, Aleksandr Shvorin, Svetlana Kharitonova, Konstantin Nikitin, Valentin Zubkov, Antonina Bogdanova

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