Last week, when the Cannes Film Festival was about to begin, many film sites that I've been following started publishing their lists of best Palme d'Or winners. I figured it would be a good time to catch up with some of them, especially the older ones.
In fact, THE CRANES ARE FLYING pre-dated Tarkovsky's debut film IVAN'S CHILDHOOD by 5 years.
The cinematography of the film by Sergey Urusevsky is absolutely stunning, I could name out the many scenes and images that remained stuck in my mind. Even though I was watching the film by myself, I couldn't stop myself from saying "wow" as some scenes were unfolding.
They had quite a few great long tracking shots.
Like this much celebrated scene where Veronika is rushing to meet Boris before he heads off for war.
And this scene when Veronika is running away from the hospital, on the verge of a mental breakdown. There's rapid-cutting, the camera's sped up, there are some unconventional angles (one shot seems to be an ancestor of the Snorri-cam) and it all comes together beautifully.
It's unbelievable that the film was made 57 years ago.
By the way, the entire THE CRANES ARE FLYING is actually available (legally) on Youtube.
The entire film was a visual feast!
They actually had another collaboration, LETTER NEVER SENT (1959), made between THE CRANES ARE FLYING and SOY CUBA which also starred Tatyana Samojlova. The entire film's also available on Youtube. I haven't seen this, but jogging through the film, it looks great too.