Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1959 film Letter Never Sent begins with the following text:
To those who, in any field of human endeavor — be it the settlement of wild and desolate lands or the daring rush into space — follow in the difficult path of the pioneers, and to the Soviet people, this film is dedicated.
In this particular story, those modern pioneers are the members of a geological expedition, and when they first appear onscreen, they’re waving goodbye to the helicopter that’s just dropped them off in the Siberian wilderness. Rather than showing their point of view, the camera is positioned in the helicopter itself, so that the four human figures on the ground appear increasingly minuscule, dwarfed by their surroundings — aptly foreshadowing what’s to come.
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