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Cranes are Flying (1957) on May 26th


SansFin
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I feel it is unfortunate that I must be the person who calls attention to this wonderful movie because there are some here who will dismiss it as "another foreign/Ruskie film" because of my talking of it but I fear that it is so obscure to American audiences that many would not watch it if there is not a notice of it.

 

This is one of the greatest movies of all time. It has many times been called the most beautifully filmed Black&White movie.

 

I believe it is one of the most deeply moving and passionate movies ever made. It is a simple story told in a stunning way.

 

Those who fear subtitles have little reason to avoid this movie as the music and composition of the scenes tells the story and there is little dialogue.

 

It is not a typical war movie. It is about love and hope and fear. It shows the soul and not the blood and guts.

 

A trailer for it is at:

 

 

There is much more to say of it but words fail me.

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> {quote:title=skimpole wrote:}{quote}

> I actually prefer three other movies by Kalatazov: The Letter Never Sent, I am Cuba and The Red Tent, but I could be worth seeing again.

 

I believe the best thing of *The Letter Never Sent* (1959) is Sergei Urusevsky's cinematography. It makes one feel cold and isolated. I am sorry to say that I feel that Mikhail Kalatozov was very heavy-handed in modeling the story. It is as if he stepped back many years in his style.

 

I understand how many feel *The Red Tent* (1969) is a grand movie but the type of movie it is is not to my taste. It is made worse that it is to my mind that a story and the acting must be exceptional to overcome being filmed by Leonid Kalashnikov. I find flatness in his shots.

 

I have watched *I Am Cuba* (1964) once only and it was many years ago. I am sorry to say that it failed to impress me.

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SansFin, SansFin, I can't believe it, I am so excited !

 

Is this the movie in which a young man and woman are in love, and the man is conscripted? It's Russian? There's a scene where the girl needs to get his attention, but he's marching with his army unit and doesn' t see her, and she throws something (peanuts, or something like that) at him to make him look? His nickname for her is "Squirrel" or something?

 

If it is, then I've been waiting to see that film all my life. I saw it long long ago, I must have been 10 or so, and I have no idea why any of my local television stations at the time would have been airing a foreign film - a Russian foreign film at that. Must have had subtitles, since unfortunately I don't understand Russion.

Can't remember why a ten-year-old kid (me) would have been watching a Russian foreign film.

But I was, and I've remembered it all these years, always wanted to see it again, never knew what it was called. I think it must be *The Cranes are Flying*. Please tell me if I'm right (going by the scene I described above.)

 

Edited by: misswonderly on May 23, 2013 8:29 PM

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I am Cuba has simply the most amazing camera movement I've ever seen. Omnipotent like. Reminds me of another film made that same year, "Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors".

 

Cranes are Flying is probably the best film Kalatozov made, though. It actually has a great story (albeit a recurring one in Russian films), and that's something his other films don't really have. To me, his films have always been an excuse to show off his camera work and photography. Maybe he does that in Cranes are Flying too, but the script and acting make the movie more special than his other films.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> Is this the movie in which a young man and woman are in love, and the man is conscripted? It's Russian? There's a scene where the girl needs to get his attention, but he's marching with his army unit and doesn' t see her, and she throws something (peanuts, or something like that) at him to make him look? His nickname for her is "Squirrel" or something?

 

This is that movie. He is not conscripted. He volunteers but he does not tell her because she will worry and he wishes her to be happy on her birthday. He is called for duty before he expected. She is delayed going to his farewell party. She goes to the yard where the men are assembling but it is a large and crowded place and she can not find him before they begin to march away. She calls to him but he can not hear over all other shouting. I believe she throws the package of food she had bought for his party.

 

> Can't remember why a ten-year-old kid (me) would have been watching a Russian foreign film

 

It was a very important movie when it was released because it marked a new beginning to international relationships as the story could not have been told in that way before that time and so it was promoted with great gusto.

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> {quote:title=JefCostello wrote:}{quote}

> Cranes are Flying is probably the best film Kalatozov made, though. It actually has a great story (albeit a recurring one in Russian films), and that's something his other films don't really have.

 

I feel it is his most personal movie.

 

I believe WWII is the backdrop for many more films than in the United States because the people of the Soviet Union were involved much more than the United States was involved and the losses were so many times greater..

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But why does it have to be on at 4:15 in the morning?

 

Too late even for a "night" person, and way too early to get up for. And I can't record anything right now.

Even if I can somehow drag myself to the television set at the deadest time of all in the 24 hours, I'm not sure if I'll be able to stay awake, no matter how good the movie is.

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I don't know if you tried watching it, but that link did not work for me when I tried it some days ago, and still does not. I may be my computer, though.

 

If you have a modern TV, i. e., a flat screen, you can probably use it as a monitor for your computer. That's what I do. On my MacBook Pro I use the mini display port and convert to a HDMI cable to plug into my TV.

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It is my finding that all movies in the Mosfilm library are troublesome until you find the combination that it likes. This movie runs well for me in Chrome under WinXP with 480 resolution in middle-sized display. It works with other resolutions and sizes but it will have buffering moments

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}But why does it have to be on at 4:15 in the morning?

>

> Too late even for a "night" person, and way too early to get up for. And I can't record anything right now.

> Even if I can somehow drag myself to the television set at the deadest time of all in the 24 hours, I'm not sure if I'll be able to stay awake, no matter how good the movie is.

misswonderly, I don't know your particular circumstances right now, but if you're like most of the regulars who post on this forum, getting a good DVD recorder or DVR would be one of the best investments you could ever make. For whatever reasons (and I think we all know them), prime time is almost always going to be reserved for the "essentials" under whatever name they are called, and for people who work that's going to eliminate the overwhelming part of the viewing day. But with a recorder, you're not subject to the marketing imperatives of the station. I also wish that movies like The Cranes Are Flying would be prime time features, and let viewing #1083 of Splendor in the Grass be relegated to the wee hours instead, but you know and I know that it just ain't gonna happen. I know that it was only when I bought my DVD recorder in 2009 that I was first able to appreciate TCM in all of its infinite variety.

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