April 07, 2009

nail in the boot

Clip: An eager soldier volunteers to run a few kilometers to get some help for his ambushed comrades. [Making videos YouTube friendly really hurts quality. Sorry.]

I wanted to show this clip because the reputation of Kalatozov's later, famous films is centered around his cinematographer Urusevsky. The formal daring of Nail in the Boot and Salt for Svanetia however make his later visual style seem positively restrained. His camera, his lighting, his themes, his rhythm, especially his editing were all boldly forged decades before The Cranes are Flying and The Unmailed Letter. Kalatozov deserves a bit more attention than he receives -- not just for his later films, where he is overshadowed by Urusevsky, but for his earlier films, which are overshadowed by the heavyweight Soviets who had been playing in this formal arena for years. Nail in the Boot was banned, and I don't believe anybody had seen it for years (decades?) after it was made. I haven't seen anything from his middle period yet (between Boot and Cranes), but I am a willing explorer waiting for the means.

Kalatozov discussion open. Please submit your comments.

1 comment:

lado said...