Mikhail Kalatozov

Also found in: Wikipedia.
Mikhail Kalatozov
Mikhail Konstantinovich Kalatozov
BirthplaceTiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia
Film director
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kalatozov, Mikhail Konstantinovich


Born Dec. 15 (28), 1903, in Tbilisi. Soviet film director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1969); member of the CPSU since 1939.

Kalatozov began working in the Georgian cinema in 1923 and became a director in 1928. His films tended to emphasize space and dimension and made effective use of acute foreshortening and lighting. These features are particularly noticeable in his film Salt of Svanetia (1930), for which he was both director and one of the cameramen. In 1933, Kalatozov enrolled in postgraduate study at the Leningrad Academy of Art. Later he became head of the Tbilisi Film Studio. He returned to directing with his film Courage (1939). Valerii Chkalov, made in 1941, was among his most important films. The breadth of Kalatozov’s artistic range and his ability to utilize diverse means of expression are apparent in his film comedy True Friends (1954).

The Cranes Are Flying, made in 1957, is Kalatozov’s best-known film; it won both him and his cameraman, S. P. Urusev-skii, worldwide recognition and a number of international prizes (including the Golden Palm at the 11th International Film Festival in Cannes). The acting of T. E. Samoilova and A. V. Batalov, the inspired montage of the crowd scenes, and the unusual mobility of the camera combine to give the film a subtle lyric beauty and a tragic force. In 1970, Kalatozov made a film based on U. Nobile’s expedition to the north pole (The Red Tent; a joint Soviet-Italian production). The cast of major actors from various countries and the impressive nature footage made the film an important event. Kalatozov received the State Prize of the USSR in 1951. He has been awarded three orders and various medals.


Litso Gollivuda. [Moscow] 1949.


Kremlev, G. Mikhail Kalatozov. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
On October 16 at 7pm, The Cranes are Flying (1957) by Mikhail Kalatozov will be screened.
Film: The Cranes Are Flying Director: Mikhail Kalatozov Cast: Tatyana Samoylova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasiliy Merkurev, Aleksandr Shvorin and Svetlana Kharitonova Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes Synopsis: Veronika is devastated when the love of her life, Boris, is sent to the front lines of the Second World War.
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, the film won the Golden Palm Award at Cannes Film Festival.
The film had been two years in the making, and its director and cinematographer were among the most celebrated figures of contemporary Soviet cinema: Mikhail Kalatozov and Sergei Urusevsky, who had also worked together on the war melodrama The Cranes Are Flying, winner of the 1958 Palm D'Or at Cannes.
Its program includes Mikhail Kalatozov's 1957 Soviet classic "The Cranes Are Flying" and more recent Russian reflections on the war such as Andrey Malyukov's 2008 box office hit "We Are From the Future," about four military history enthusiasts who find themselves transported back to the war when their battlefield excavations uncover a wrinkle in time.
Mikhail Kalatozov, whose knowledge of contemporary American cinema and Hollywood was probably unmatched among Soviet filmmakers, made his own contribution to the anti-American campaign with a 1949 book, The Face of Hollywood.
Mikhail Kalatozov's film The Cranes are Flying, released in 1957, was one of the key moments in Thaw culture in the Soviet Union, and, as Josephine Woll demonstrates in her forthright and quite detailed analysis, the first film that refocused Western minds on Soviet cinema after the dead years of Stalinism.
The boutique art-house distributor Milestone Film & Video, which already deserves a medal for restoring and recirculating such lost classics as Mikhail Kalatozov's I am Cuba and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Mamma Roma, has released to video Powell's gorgeous 1937 first release, The Edge of the World (beautifully restored by the British Film Institute), the story of two clans torn apart in a tiny Scottish Isles crofting community.
Wednesday, March 8, 7 pm, Soy Cuba, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. Free.
The potential public loss of such classics as Andrei Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood (1962) and Mikhail Kalatozov's watershed World War II film Cranes Are Flying (1957), has many film lovers worried.
A Mikhail Kalatozov Fund, Studio Barmalei production.
It was this proposed wonderland of personal expression (newly established on an island where northerners had long been accustomed to letting go) that greeted Mosfilm's production team, headed by director Mikhail Kalatozov. A few years earlier, Kalatozov had scored an international hit with The Cranes Are Flying; he also had enjoyed a successful bureaucratic career, having served, at various times, as a studio head, Soviet consul in Los Angeles and Deputy Minister of Cinematography.