films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Solid pieces

The Cranes Are Flying

Letyat Zhuravli
1957 / 95m - Soviet Union
Drama, War
The Cranes Are Flying poster

The inoffensive

I Am Cuba

Soy Cuba
1964 / 141m - Cuba
Drama, War
I Am Cuba poster

From all the classic directors, Mikhail Kalatozov is one of the few who actually managed to impress me. He struggles with drama and structure, but the visuals in his films more than make up for that. It took me a while to watch I Am Cuba, mostly because of the length, but I'm glad I finally got around to it.

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The film plays like a mini-anthology, focusing on four different stories in pre-revolution Cuba. The first about a woman prostitute, the second about a farmer losing his house, the third about students championing Castro and the final one about a family forced to leave their house when it is bombarded.

Performances are a little flaky, the film could've been shorter and the anthology setup doesn't really add that much. But man does it look beautiful again. Lovely contrasting black and white cinematography mixed with dynamic camera work and superb angles make this a true looker. Not quite as consistent as I'd hoped, but certainly worth a watch.