Sometimes there’s a serendipity of thought or in following a tweet link on a favorite film to a find another amazing, unrelated, film. I saw a tweet about one of my favorite films Jean Renior’s Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932). So I went to Criterion’s site and came upon the fact that they are streaming Mikhail Kalatozov‘s The Cranes Are Flying (1957)!
This is another of my all-time favorites. When I was working with BAMcinematek we screened this film along with Kalatozov’s Letter That Was Never Sent (or The Unsent Letter) (1959), and Soy Cuba (I am Cuba) (1964) with its spectacular crane shots. All of which rocked my world. Both Cranes and Unsent Letter star the lovely actress Tatyana Samojlova, the Audrey Hepburn of Russian film! You can watch a bit of The Unsent Letter in Russian here to see how striking she is!.
I still ponder scenes in The Cranes Are Flying. I was just chatted with a colleague at The Whitney about it. This film as everything…beauty, exquisite shots, deep sorrow, and there’s scene-stealing toy squirrel.