168 Great Directors: Mikhail Kalatozov

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What Got This Director Here?
: His trilogy of Cranes/Letter/Cuba.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Only saw the average doc Salt for Svanetia.

What Did I Watch: The Cranes are Flying.

Where Does He Fit: Kalatozov and DP Sergei Uresevsky’s cinematography in this are a collaboration made in heaven, with the number of films that have better black and white visuals than this probably in the single digits. (I bet at least two of them are their other collaborations.) Unfortunately, despite the form being unbeatable, the content is a tad too relevant, with a love story that is basically being carried by Tatyana Samoylova’s elemental performance as something strange and ethereal. She was born to be in a Malick movie, but we’re just a hair too much in narrative territory for my liking during the early sequences. Still, once she runs through the tanks, we’re off to the races.

the-cranes-are-flying

Most Valuable Asset: Visual language.
Most Excited For: I Am Cuba.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: I’d say yes right now.

Coming Up Next: Ritwik Ghatak, Indian neorealist.

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