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The Cranes are Flying (1957)


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:00 AM

This is one of those films that came up in conversation in the ASC booth at CineGear... and when Stephen Burum found out I hadn't seen it, I had to promise to watch it before I ran into him again. So I just watched the Criterion DVD of the movie.

If you liked "I Am Cuba", you also like this film. The directing and b&w wide-angle photography are amazing, over the top almost. The camera flies from an ECU inside of a phone booth into a crane shot outside, or goes from handheld inside a bus, then runs outside through a crowd, and then cranes up suddenly. Orson Welles on cocaine if you can imagine that.

And like "Amelie", they found an actress who looks beautiful even when shot in CU with an 18mm...
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 03:05 AM

Great film, the Criterion edition is nice too.

So will you promise to watch 'Stalker' as well? ;-)
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#3 Mark T. Ingham

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 03:28 AM

I also discovered Cranes Are Flying via the Criterion DVD very recently as well. Wonderful film!
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:52 PM

This is one of those films that came up in conversation in the ASC booth at CineGear... and when Stephen Burum found out I hadn't seen it, I had to promise to watch it before I ran into him again. So I just watched the Criterion DVD of the movie.


---It's been mentioned on this forum a few times.

Good that it's gotten your seal of approval, thou.

---LV
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#5 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 11:16 PM

I also discovered this title on criterion!! Just goes to show how important criterion is as a dvd label...I never even heard of it before I saw it on the shelf at Borders. I was in a big Ivans Childhood kick at the time...

Any people see the Red Tent, also by Kalatoso..something or another? Same director , I mean.
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#6 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 11:26 PM

Sorry to be posting one after another...But I forgot to ask,

Is there a new edition of this dvd? Reason being the cover art I recently saw in the store is not the same as my version at home. Thanks...
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#7 Krystian Ramlogan

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 12:10 AM

This is a great film. Very innovative camerawork, especially the scenes Mr. Mullen described. The actress was totally green but was perfect, and won a special mention at the Cannes Film Festival (58). I studied it two years ago in a film class along with some other Russian films.

It holds up very well by anyones standards. I give it a 4.5/5 stars.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 01:35 PM

I also discovered this title on criterion!! Just goes to show how important criterion is as a dvd label...I never even heard of it before I saw it on the shelf at Borders. I was in a big Ivans Childhood kick at the time...

Any people see the Red Tent, also by Kalatoso..something or another? Same director , I mean.


---It's a messier film, but it has it's moments. The crash of the dirigible is worth watching the film for.
Great wide angle handheld and editing. There are lots of finely edited individual scenes. Can't recall any reallly bravura camera moves. It's been years since I've scene it.

The frame of the story is that the ghosts of the people who died in the polar flight and the rescue expeditions visit general Nobile (Peter Finch) visit him at night and have a trial. Don't recall if they do it every night or if it's a one time occurence. Probably the former.

Since it's an Italian-Soviet co-production, it's in English. The leads are British & some of the writers.
also Ennio Marricone and Claudia Cardinale.

---LV
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#9 Peter Egan

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 07:24 AM

Saw it on a crappy VHS last night...

Well, subtle it certainly ain't. It's the kind of film I admire more then like, I guess.

I have to admit, I was expecting something more "Russian", but instead I detected a certain "let's outdo Hollywood" thinking behind the direction. Could be wrong..
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#10 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 07:04 PM

I just saw this movie and it's really good. I basically agree with everything that has been said here. My favorite sequence though is when the camera follows Veronica running after that train. It was just amazing. Stunning camerawork.

Too bad the dvd has no extras.
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:44 PM

I have to admit, I was expecting something more "Russian", but instead I detected a certain "let's outdo Hollywood" thinking behind the direction. Could be wrong..


---It is an International production.
Mosfilm, Italian produccers, British writers, American money, British, German & Italian leads and Ennio Morricone.

The Russion version is over an hour longer with a non-Morricone.
Maybe that's more Russian.

---LV
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#12 Peter Egan

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 08:36 PM

---It is an International production.
Mosfilm, Italian produccers, British writers, American money, British, German & Italian leads and Ennio Morricone.

The Russion version is over an hour longer with a non-Morricone.
Maybe that's more Russian.

---LV


Oh, sorry, I was unclear, my comment was about "The Cranes are Flying". And further to my thoughts, I've been reading a little about the director and he seems to have been very fond of Hollywood cinema (lived in America also) so there is a definite influence there, if not the typical "we can do better" thinking that was prevailent at the time.

I'll be seeing Red Tent soon, hopefully.
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#13 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:02 PM

Yeah, it's kinda weird to think of "soviet" directors being influenced by american cinema. Eisenstien was in love with Walt Disney. Loved him and the studio. For some reason I never saw that coming until I started reading more about russian cinema. Those russians can film movies like they can build a T4 tank, VERY WELL!!!
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