Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Mikhail Kalatozov - Neotpravlennoye pismo aka The Letter Never Sent (1959)
Description: A year after his The Cranes are Flying won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Kalatozov re-teamed with cinematographer Sergei Urusevksy and leading lady Tatyana Samojlova to shoot this story about four geologists on an expedition to find diamond deposits in Eastern Siberia. As the team confronts the raging elements of nature—including a tremendous forest fire—that nearly wipe them out, the film questions the sacrifice of human lives to further scientific progress. An intriguing example of new Soviet cinema, The Letter’s striking visuals and bold camerawork recall Kalatozov’s poetic documentary Salt for Svanetia (1929), which brought him fame for its visual bravado and powerful Communist propaganda.