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THREE COLORS (BLUE/WHITE/RED)
1993/4 - Krzysztof Kieslowski
Poland / France / Switzerland
6
Opening Shot

Blue opens to the image of a car wheel driving along a highway (the shot is behind the wheel at road level). White opens to the image of a suitcase traveling along through an airport conveyor belt. Red begins with the shot of a man dialing the phone as the camera begins to track the phone cord.

The Film

No brief description can justly express the depth and beauty of Krzysztof Kieslowski's films. I have been in the process of creating a website dedicated to the many thoughts, feelings and ideas these films raise. Blue is a film of such emotionally gut-wrenching intensity. It's a film that relies more so on actions, then dialogue. Julie's pain is so strong she can't cry, or even feel. She seems cold and silent as she abandons all her memories and possessions to start a new life. Her body language shows the pain she's in, as she can never truly escape the past. White is a fascinating dark comedy about revenge, obsession, and redemption. It's also a disturbing touching study of human emotions. The last film of the trilogy, Red, masterfully observes that the deepest secrets of the soul are discovered through loneliness. Red is also a love story. Valentine represents Joseph's "breath of life". A reason for hope. As only Kieslowski can the film powerfully studies the need for connection; to find Joseph or Valentines common soul. There is such beauty and thought in every frame of these films. With this masterful trilogy Kieslowski has created a fascinating and powerful cinematic experience that's both a joy and privilege to experience!

The Filmmaker

"I think we're fighting out our own fate, our own destiny, all the time. There is something like fate, but there is also our resistance to it. And perhaps that's the reason for our suffering, our feeling of not having fulfilled ourselves… But I am not a fatalist. I don't think that everything's written up in black and white in advance." This is a quote from Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski, who's films blend together elements of the physical world with the spiritual world in dealing with themes of love, death, communication, isolation, fate, chance, and coincidence. After graduating from a renowned Polish film school Kieslowski began his career in documentary filmmaking. He found human stories in these documentaries, which centered around social and moral life issues. In the mid-1970s he began making fiction films for Polish television. He made his feature filmmaking debut with 1979's Camera Buff, which works as a nice early introduction into Kieslowski's work. Kieslowski's darker emotional themes of love, death, and chance started to develop by the 1980's with Blind Chance and No End. In 1987, Kieslowski's acclaim as a master became evident to the world with The Decalogue. A ten part mini-series based on each of the Ten Commandments, the film is an unquestionable masterwork that belongs mention among the very greatest achievements of all-time. With the Decalogue came two feature films: A Short Film About Love, and A Short Film About Killing. Kieslowski's internationally produced films began with a thematically quintessential film starring the lovely Irene Jacob (1991's The Double Life of Veronique). Then in 1993/4 Kieslowski, along with co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz, completed his masterpiece with The Three Colors trilogy (Blue, White, and Red- which also starred Irene Jacob). Much like The Decalogue, The Three Colors are films that are challenging and deeply open to complex thought and analyzing. They require intimate analysis to truly appreciate and understand the depth and details. For me, The Three Colors is the poetic and artistic peak of achievement in filmmaking. Unfortunately, Kieslowski suffered from a heart attack two years after completing Three Colors in 1996 (at the age of 54). He did begin writing a new trilogy (Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory) with Piesiewicz. Kieslowski was never able to complete the films, yet his vision and script inspired Tom Tywker (who's Run Lola Run showed obvious influence from Kieslowski's Blind Chance), to direct Heaven in 2002. In 2005, Danis Tanovic directed Hell. Kieslowski's films are more spiritual then they are religious, and his themes are expressed on an individual human level (both realistically and metaphysically) Through symbolic imagery and narrative Kieslowski examines reflective presence beyond the depths of what we see. Something transcendent or beyond the physical surface. Kieslowski's films look to capture the soul. Along with his key contributors, composer Zbigniew Preisner and particularly his co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Kieslowski's films use recurring themes, elements, and imagery that connect on a thought-provoking and human level. Are his films self-conscious? Yes, but only in the sense that Kieslowski carefully composes every visual and emotional level and expression, which ultimately leave a transcendent experience that is never forceful. His films deal with moral conflict and questions of love, of fate, of freedom, and of identity. In his greatest masterworks: The Decalogue (a ten part mini-series based upon the principles of the Ten Commandments), as well as Three Colors (a trilogy based on the three colors of the French flag), Kieslowski uses the principles and very closely examines how they function within everyday humanity and life. Ultimately the films detail that these principles or ideas contradict with both human nature and with each other. Kieslowski's films are easy for film lovers to embrace. They are full of beautifully expressive and composed imagery, complex characters, and deeply thought-provoking layers. There is something equally haunting, inspiring, ironic, compassionate, and hopeful about experiencing them. His richly textured imagery and sound express a profound vision of human weakness. Above all, Kieslowski's films deserve in-depth analytical thought and discussion for their complex and expressive themes, style, and moral connection. The characters of Kieslowski's films are lost souls always searching within themselves in order to ease their suffering. It is the discovery of love (or a "breath of life") that give these characters spiritual transcendence of discovery, even if their physical state is left without conclusion. Kieslowski's films are left open to interpret and analyze on many layers. On individual and transcendent levels the viewer is left to interrupt and re-interrupt the various themes and emotions of the images and sound. To me, Kieslowski's films carry a personal connection, which is indescribable with words… In this brief write-up I know that I have not done him or his films justice!!

Images
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Resources
imdb link (Blue)
imdb link (White) imdb link (Red)    
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