“The Cranes Are Flying”

Great Patriotic War

June 22, 1941 — May 9, 1945

The Cranes are Flying (The Criterion Collection)

The Cranes Are Flying (Летят Журавли)
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
Written by Viktor Rozov (play and screenplay)
Starring Tatyana Samojlova and Aleksey Batalov
Music by Moisey Vaynberg
Outstanding cinematography by Sergey Urusevsky
Studio Mosfilm


“One Hundred Days After Childhood”

It usually happens unexpectedly
You’d just like this all of a sudden see
The river…and the trees, and the girl 
And the way she’s smiling…
It seems you’ve seen it all a thousand times
But this time you’re dumbfounded  
Suddenly struck
How unimaginably beautiful is this girl
And these trees…this river 
And the way she’s smiling…
This usually means
That you’ve been overtaken by love

–my translation of lines from a Russian-Soviet 1975 movie “One Hundred Days After Childhood” — to me the best coming-of-age movie ever made. I first watched it as a teenager, and now thirty+ years later I’m as moved by it as back then. Maybe more.

This movie’s a painting. A poem. A waltz.

It’s on Youtube with English subtitles.

Treat yourself to something wonderful. 

Fifty Five Years Ago

First Orbit:

2.19 Гагарин: Поехали! (Off we go!)

7.40 Гагарин: ЗАРЯ, я КЕДР, наблюдаю облака над Землёй–мелкие, кучевые–и тени от них. Красиво. Красота! Как слышите? Приём. (DAWN, this is CEDAR, I’m watching clouds over the Earth–small, cumulus–and shadows of them. Beautiful.Beautiful! How do you read? Over.)