The Double Life of Véronique (1991, K. Kieslowski)

A movie I definitely need (and want) to see again. Completely beautiful, more striking than any of the three colors movies. It was late and I enjoyed getting swept up in the whole thing, didn’t worry too much about which Veronique was which (I think it was one for a while, then the other), making comparisons to Jean-Pierre Jeunet films, and watching for reflections and refractions in glass(es) a la the Criterion cover art.

Star Irene Jacob was also in Red and Beyond The Clouds, won best actress at Cannes for this one. Cinematographer did Blue, The Scar, Gattaca, Black Hawk Down (hello oscar nom) and the next Harry Potter.

Veronika (Poland) drops dead during her first big singing performance, and her unknowing double Véronique (Paris) feels the loss and quits her singing lessons to be a teacher. Véronique sees a puppeteer who later summons her via a series of mailed clues. Some kind of fate theme, which would tie it to the Decalogue I guess. Storyline seems so unimportant compared to the visuals, the sensation while watching.

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Katy said she liked it but then never mentioned it again.

Interesting from the Criterion essay by Jonathan Romney:
“Kieslowski denied that there were any metaphors in his films… Yet he also confessed that he aspired to those moments when a film manages to escape from literalism. If Véronique spurs us to search for meaning in a maze of fragmentary significations, it is perhaps because Kieslowski made the film in just such a spirit of pursuit, quite simply in the sense of teasing out narrative shape. By Kieslowski’s estimation, he and editor Jacques Witta prepared some twenty rough cuts of Véronique, some more narratively transparent, others considerably more opaque. … Finally, the Véronique we have is one among a multitude of possible versions. It is this incompleteness, this sense of the provisional and arbitrary, that finally ensures the film’s sense of mystery and saves it from the sometimes oppressive weight of narrative authority that finally overburdens Three Colors.”

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