I’ve watched these before, in their Decalogue versions, but since the extended movie versions appear on certain lists of great films, I always wanted to watch ’em and compare. It has been nearly a decade, so it’s hard, but I’d have to say I prefer the Decalogue series as an interconnected project than either of these movies individually.

A Short Film About Love (1988)

Deep-voiced teenage creep Tomek watches neighbor Magda through the window with a stolen telescope, then tries to interfere in her life. She is dismissive, then taunts him, and finally becomes concerned after he tries to kill himself. I guess they’re a couple of doomed losers who might just end up together, but Kieslowski is up to something more twisty, closing on Magda in Tomek’s room, watching herself across the street. It’s got the mutual torment of White mixed with the surveillance of Red, set to some nice Priesner music.

A Short Film About Killing (1988)

Another movie about a deep-voiced creep! A hanging cat in the opening credits brings to mind Cosmos, but this movie’s a slog, the most unpleasant Kieslowski I’ve seen. I covered the story pretty well last time – main difference here is that it’s longer, and the inky blackness and distorted colors of the picture comes out more clearly on the blu-ray. I love the sudden time jump from Jacek sitting in his stolen cab dreaming of escaping to the mountains, to the moment of his conviction for murder.

Kind of a quiet, contemplative movie, with little of the grand emotion of Blue or the plot hijinks of White. Valentine (Irène Jacob: Kieslowski’s Veronique, also in the Laurence Fishburne Othello, Beyond the Clouds and Gang of Four) meets a reclusive ex-judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant of My Night at Maud’s and Z) via a lost dog. When she visits again, he readily admits he’s spying on his neighbors’ phone conversations. Rhyming shots and characters make this the most Veronique-like of the Colors trilogy.

G. Evans for Criterion:

What [the judge] unveils, above all, is a world of deceit and loneliness, which he observes with detachment, despite the fact that the people he hears are his immediate neighbors. Valentine seems to be no exception to this dispersed social existence, constantly dashing to answer calls from her boyfriend in England, who attacks her with paranoid accusations of infidelity. The secondary characters, whose stories interweave with those of the central pair, likewise suffer fractured relationships and troubled lives.

Auguste, the young judge:

In the opening sequence I realized what that is on the cover of the Criterion box – a Fincherian journey through phone cables. The series ends with the stars of the three colors films being the sole survivors of a sinking ferry, finally bringing them together – a cosmic coincidence, or as Dennis Lim suggests, the ending could have been a starting point, the reason for examining these characters in the first place. Evans again: “Kieslowski went so far as to say that the climactic scene of Red reveals that White had a happy ending. There is an expansiveness to this vision, in which everything may or may not be connected, in which fictional characters continue to have lives in times and places that exist beyond their filmic stories, that absolutely fits with the resonant quality of Red.”

Competed at Cannes with Queen Margot, Exotica, Through the Olive Trees, and at the Césars where it was no match for Wild Reeds and Isabelle Adjani.

The extras are very nice. Instead of presenting a disconnected gallery of deleted scenes, the film’s editor takes us through them, comparing to the final versions and explaining why they were cut. On Kieslowski: “I often saw him come out of Red very misty-eyed, very touched by his own film. For him, Red is a meditation on old age and youth.”

Dennis Lim:

With these innumerable rhymes and parallels, Red is rigged to trigger a constant sense of deja vu, an unexplained feeling of imminence. “I feel something important is happening around me,” Valentine says, articulating the nameless anticipation of the final passages.

The Benaki Museum (2013, Athina Tsangari)

Lovely seven-minute advertisement for a Greek museum narrated by Willem Dafoe, children acting as curators, interacting with ancient artworks.

The Boy Who Saw the Iceberg (2000, Paul Driessen)

Crazy… split-screen with a boy’s ordinary day on the left and his imagination (which usually involves being captured and making a daring escape on the right. Then he and his family die when travelling on a boat that hits an iceberg. The imagination side takes another minute to adjust to this ending. Animation is fluid, doodly and wonderful. Driessen is Dutch, has a long career of award-winning shorts.

The Lost Thing (2010, Tan & Ruhemann)

Dude is collecting bottlecaps when he finds a Lost Thing (sort of an armored contraption with mechanical parts, jingle bells and tentacles), seeks its origins, finally returns it to a secret area in the city where crazy mecha-organic beasts all live. Won the oscar, same year as Day & Night. Tan created the source book, Ruhemann lately produced something called Chuck Norris vs. Communism.

Zerox and Mylar (1995, Joel Brinkerhoff)

Wicked one-minute claymation thing. Cat wants to lure mouse, paints his hand like a lady mouse, but mouse traps the lady-mouse-hand and has his way with it/her. Brinkerhoff is obviously a madman, apparently worked on Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension, which is on one of the Looney Tunes blu-rays.

The Temptation of Mr. Prokouk (1947, Karel Zeman)

Mr. Prokouk is building his own house when he’s tempted by the evils of alcohol. After going on a massive bender and literally losing his head, he recovers, murders the ghostly barrel-shaped liquor salesman who got Prokouk hooked on the stuff, and continues with the house building. I dig the little birds who build a nest on his sign.

Mr. Schwarzwald’s and Mr. Edgar’s Last Trick (1964, Jan Svankmajer)

Svankmajer’s first short! Stop-motion, live actors, painting and puppetry, all very well blended, with extreme close-ups, frequent zooms and super fast edits. So JS was accomplished at making great-looking, creepy films from the very start. Two wooden-mask-faced magicians take turns performing elabotate tricks, aggressively shaking hands after each one, until the handshake turns lethal and they tear each other apart.

Your Acquaintance aka The Journalist (1927, Lev Kuleshov)

A 15-minute excerpt from a feature. Possibly Kuleshov’s follow-up to the great Dura Lex – IMDB isn’t so clear on Russian cinema. Aleksandra Khokhlova (Kuleshov’s wife, crazy Edith from Dura Lex) is a newspaper columnist who gets fired for turning in an article late while she was distracted by a handsome rich man. That’s about all I got from this fragment, plot-wise.

Edition Filmmuseum:

She is a modern woman, in-your-face and interesting in both the way she dresses and the way she handles the men who surround her in her everyday working life: she writes almost all of them off as wimps but the one she loves, a functionary, proves to be a conformist: disappointment ensues … The mise-en-scène is unique, with razor-sharp contours and extreme lighting provided on the one hand by Aleksandr Rodchenko with his constructivist design of the materialistic world, and on the other hand by cameraman Konstantin Kuznecov with his “svetotvorchestvo” (light-making) already known from [Dura Lex].

The Tony Longo Trilogy (2014, Thom Andersen)

A found-footage piece, Andersen taking three films and isolating only the scenes with imposing character actor Tony Longo in them. Tony is an ineffective doorman in The Takeover, is seeking Justin Theroux in Mulholland Dr., and fights with Rob Lowe before being murdered by Jim Belushi in Living in Peril. Why was Thom Andersen watching Tony Longo movies? Tony died soon after this came out, unrelated to the fact that IMDB says he was once struck in the mouth by lightning.

Cinema Scope:

What makes the videos in The Tony Longo Trilogy both exciting and frivolous is that it’s not terribly difficult to imagine Andersen repeating the operation for Tony Longo’s other hundred-odd screen credits, or, to push the idea to its limit, for anyone who’s ever appeared in a motion picture.

Riot (2015, Nathan Silver)

Home movies of 9-year-old Nathan reenacting the LA riots in his back yard wearing a Ren & Stimpy shirt

Uncle (1959, Jaromil Jires)

Kid in crib makes friends with the thief breaking into his house. Jires’s second short, still in film school. Uncle Vlastimil Brodsky was already an established actor, would later star in many Jiri Menzel films and Autumn Spring.

Tramwaj (1966, Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Silent… guy is miserable at a party, so leaves and gets on a dismal night train where he tries to impress a sleepy girl. One of Kieslowski’s first shorts, made in film school.

Logorama (2009, Alaux & Houplain & de Crecy)

Fantastic concept, a world made only of corporate logos. The writing and voice acting could’ve been better though. After creating this graphic-design logo monstrosity, they fill it with some sub-Tarantino cops-and-robbers shootout stuff, Michelin cops fighting a rogue Ronald McDonald. Logorama beat A Matter of Loaf and Death at the oscars, also won awards at Cannes and the Cesars. Two of the directors went on to make a tie-in short to a Tom Clancy video game series. David Fincher did a voice, along with the writer of Se7en and a guy with small roles in half of Fincher’s movies.

Sniffer (2006, Bobbie Peers)

Sniffer works as a deodorant tester in a world where people wear metal boots to keep from floating off. One day after seeing a pigeon crash into a window, Sniffer decides it’d be nice to float off, and unstraps his boots. Norwegian, I think.

The Foundry (2007, Aki Kaurismaki)

Seen this before in an anthology but now it’s available in HD so I watched again.

Still my least favorite of the trilogy, though it’s less mean-spirited than I remember it (final image of Julie Delpy seeking reconciliation after her ex has her falsely imprisoned is mostly what I’ve remembered). Delpy’s in the movie for about five minutes – it’s mostly about her ex-husband Karol trying to get back on his feet after their divorce. She (maliciously) leaves him homeless and unemployed, but he befriends a fellow Pole while begging in the Paris metro, gets back to Poland, earns a fortune in a realty scheme, starts a shady import business, then frames Delpy for his own faked murder. The plot description sounds worse than the film itself, and the character described in paragraph form sounds like a total dick, while Karol seems more cuddly in person.

Karol is Zbigniew Zamachowski, who starred with his hairdresser brother Jerzy Stuhr in the final Decalogue segment, in which they also played brothers. Karol’s Gabriel Byrne-looking Polish friend is Janusz Gajos, a lead in the fourth Decalogue. This won best director in Berlin (vs. Philadelphia and Smoking/No Smoking)

K.K.: “The subject of the film is humiliation – men are not, and do not want to be, equal. The film is also about equality.” His cowriter Piesiewicz: “I knew very well that people in fact didn’t want to be free. All consumerism and advertising is based on us not being equal. Equality of opportunity, yes. But what does that mean? What’s needed most is empathy…”

Also watched the great Talking Heads short again, and…

Seven Women of Different Ages (1979, Kieslowski)

Dancers at different stages. First: young girls being pulled into position by a patient teacher, then older girls being screamed at by an abusive teacher. Rehearsal, then on stage, then a terrified-looking woman doing a routine. An understudy, watching closely but not actually practicing the moves. Finally an instructor of young girls the age of the first segment – I wondered if it’s the actual teacher from that segment, but it’s not. Fits in well with Talking Heads, obviously.

Falkenau, The Impossible (1988, Emil Weiss)

Weiss seems to love Sam Fuller, but he’s not on Fuller’s wavelength, unable to have much of a conversation with the man. So this doc (which is an hour long, but I crammed it in the shorts section anyway) admirably fulfills its purpose by screening all of Fuller’s WWII concentration camp cleanup footage while Sam narrates, taking him to the site of the camp in present-day and asking for his thoughts. That would’ve been more than enough, but Weiss leaves us with a one-sided (Sam likes to talk) silly-ass conversation about fictional representation of war, which would’ve been better left out. I’m most of the way through Sam’s autobiography, one of the greatest books I’ll ever read, where Fuller says this doc screened at Cannes and was praised for its straightforwardness.

Cry For Bobo (2001, David Cairns)

Poor and desperate, a man resorts to thievery to get by. He’s caught and imprisoned, then shot to death after escaping, as his wife and kid leave town, trying to start a new life without him. It’d be a miserable little story if the main characters weren’t clowns. Hilarious, reference-heavy, and better than I’d expected – and I had expected greatness. Already watched twice and trying to get Katy to see it (she hates clowns).

The Possibility of Hope (2007, Alfonso Cuarón)

“We no longer live in a world. ‘World’ means when you have a meaningful experience of what reality is which is rooted in your community, in its language, and it is clear that the true most radical impact of global capitalism is that we lack this basic literally ‘world view,’ a meaningful experience of totality. Because of this, today the main mode of politics is fear.”

Naomi Klein:
“More and more we see the progression of this economic model through disasters. So we’re now in a cycle where the economic model itself is so destructive to the planet that the number of disasters is increasing, both financial disasters and natural disasters.”

James Lovelock:
“If you live in the middle of Europe or here in America, things are going to get very bad indeed.”

Of course the “hope” part comes at the very end, as it does with all recent doom-gloom climate-change global-meltdown documentaries, and the hope in this one, despite the film’s title, isn’t all that hopeful. Start preparing now for how badly the future will suck – and it will suck. An Inconvenient Truth supposedly has a credit-time list of ways you can help the planet, Home encourages us to build windmills and go vegan, Wake Up Freak Out says we must act politically, and there’s always the hope during Collapse that the subject is just wrong, or that he’s a crackpot. Not so much here. If I’ve avoided talking about the filmmaking, well it’s basically a radio show with distracting visuals, much of it b-roll from Children of Men.

Night Mayor (2009, Guy Maddin)

Pronounce it similarly to “nightmare.” An inventor, a Bosnian immigrant, harnesses the “music” of the Aurora Borealis and converts it into dreamlike images which are sent across phone lines to his fellow Canadians using his Telemelodium. Even more/cooler junkpile inventions than in the electric chair short, some nudity (not as much as in Glorious or The Little White Cloud That Cried) and some delicious nonsequiturs. Clean narration by the accented inventor and two of his kids, along with excellent string music. At the end, the government shuts down his project, so he turns his attention from the skies to the seas, considers visualising whale songs.

One Minute Racist (2007, Caveh Zahedi)

Sweet three-minute cartoon story about the slippery slope of racism narrated by CZ, who codirected with a couple animators. Story of a student who doesn’t like asians because they’re too uptight and a paranoid library security guard who threatens to confirm the stereotype.

Talking Heads (1980, Krzysztof Kieslowski)
“What is your year of birth?”
“Who are you?”
“What do you most wish for?”
These three questions are asked to a one-year-old, then a two-year-old, and so on. The final answer: “I’m one hundred years old. What do I want? To live longer. Much longer.”

Most people seem to have thought about the questions for a while – possibly while the camera and lighting crew buzzed about their head, since the film looks like a lesson in how to effectively shoot subjects, professional but no-frills, by cinematographers Jacek Petrycki (No End, Camera Buff) and Piotr Kwiatkowski (second camera on the Three Colors). As a result, the answers come out seeming like a beauty pageant. Everyone wants more honesty and fairness, for everybody to just get along. The answers from kids under ten and adults over seventy are the best.

Born Free (2010, Romain Gavras)

I don’t count music videos as “shorts” or things would get too complicated, but then, I don’t really count this as a music video. M.I.A.’s music isn’t far enough up front, and the video (by Costa-Gavras’s son) is twice as long as the song. It’s a little piece wherein red-headed kids are rounded up by violent cops, beaten, shot and made to run through a minefield. Probably trying to make a point about tolerance and freedom, but for messages of tolerance I preferred the climactic speech in Cry For Bobo, also featuring overzealous cops: “First they came for the mimes, then the jugglers, then the bearded ladies. Next time, it were you.”

Hotel Torgo (2004, buncha dudes)

Buncha dudes head for El Paso and interview the last guy who remembers working on Manos: The Hands of Fate. There’s no real point to this, but the guy is very good-natured about it. Learned that Torgo was high all the time, which shouldn’t come as a surprise but somehow still does.

Commandment I: I Am the Lord Thy God


Boy lives alone with his father. They love (erm, “worship”?) their all-knowing computer, which calculates that the ice outside is thick enough to skate on. Kid’s aunt thinks the kid should have a more spiritual education, but dad disagrees because science and computers are where it’s at. Needless to say, the ice was not thick enough to skate on.

Sad, cold, dreary, dark episode, opens with a sad man sitting in front of a fire by the lake. DVD extras say that we’ll see him again. Starts/ends with the aunt watching TV news broadcast showing the kid running through school hallway with other kids a few days before the ice incident. Maybe this was a fine episode to begin the series theatrically, when you’re sitting wondering what’s coming next, but on DVD, I was bummed by this one (and by the circumstances of trying to watch it) so it took over a month before I made it to part 2.

The sad man acted in Kieslowski’s No End. The kid is my age, appeared in Schindler’s List.



Commandment II: Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of Thy Lord God in Vain


Sad woman’s husband is deathly sick, is neighbor to sad doctor whose family died in bombing years ago. Doctor does his best, but it’s not looking good for husband. Thing is, wife needs to know if he will live or die, because she’s pregnant from another man and wants to know whether to keep the baby.

The episode might’ve seemed grim and dreary if it hadn’t followed the dead-child segment. Both were pretty affecting, but this one sucked me right in. Kind of a soapy sounding plot, but Kieslowski obviously not a soapy director, so it works. Doctor warms up to the wife, finally tells her the husband will almost certainly die, she phones boyfriend and breaks up with him (more or less) but keeps the baby and stays with the husband, who improves against all odds. Lot of close-ups, more dead animals and warm clothes, no sign of the sad man by the lake who introduced the series.

The doctor (above) played lawyers in both White and No End. The woman (below) starred in Wajda’s Man of Iron and in something called Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease.


Commandment III: Honor the Sabbath Day


Cab driver’s ex shows up on Christmas eve and leads him on a wild goose chase, supposedly looking for her missing husband. In fact, her man left three years ago, and she is so lonely over the holidays that she tricks her ex into spending time with her. He catches on to some of the lies, maybe all of them, but he comes along anyway and returns to his own wife at daybreak.

A weird one, all deception with little truth about the background of these two and their former relationship… unless their past was mostly deception. I liked it, but not one of my favorites.

The woman is from No End. The cab driver appeared in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, currently a soap opera star.


Commandment IV: Honor Thy Father and Mother


When Anka’s dad Michal goes out of town, she opens a letter marked “to be opened after my death.” Dad comes home and she shows him the sealed letter inside, in her dead mother’s handwriting, telling Anka that Michal is not her real father. Anka says that she’s always felt this to be true, and suggests they could be lovers instead of father and daughter. He doesn’t go for it… but Anka is toying with him, having written the letter herself and never opened the real letter (although the real letter very likely says the same thing).

Oh good, a real crazy one. Was Anka serious about any of it or was she only trying to expose her father? I liked it, though I started pondering alternate titles for the Decalogue and came up with Sad People Telling Secrets & Lies In The Dark. Sums up the last three pretty well. Our mysterious young man makes an appearance, carrying a white canoe.

The “father” was third-billed in Kieslowski’s White.


Commandment V: Thou Shalt Not Kill


An antisocial youth, an antisocial taxi-driver and an idealistic young defense lawyer collide Crash-style. Youth is tired of dropping rocks off overpasses, damaging property and pushing men into urinals, decides to kill a taxi driver. Gets sent through the justice system, where our lawyer passionately but unsuccessfully defends him, finally hangs for his crime.

Good story, one of the more obvious and political ones. I mean, thou shalt not kill, you know? The sad young man shows up right before the murder, giving our antisocial youth a pleading look. I’d kinda prefer if this guy was obliviously walking through all ten tales, rather than acting like a helpless Wim Wenders angel all the time.

The cinematographer Slawomir Idziak (who had worked with Kieslowski before on The Scar) went hog wild on this one, filming the whole first half in sepia tones with encroaching shadows around the edges. It worked out well for him – he was hired back for the gorgeous Double Life of Veronique and Blue, and later did Gattaca, Black Hawk Down and the latest Harry Potter.

The beginning of the young lawyer and criminal’s acting careers, but veteran actor Jan Tesarz (the murdered taxi driver) went on to appear with Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell in Hart’s War. I recognized the woman with the dying husband from episode 2 as a would-be customer from whom the taxi driver speeds away.

They arrested the wrong guy for the murder! Check out the white chalk “M” on the shoulder of the guard at Jacek’s right arm:

Commandment VI: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery


A more conventionally shot episode, a voyeur movie that watches us watch it. Tomek, who lives with his “godmother” (his absent best friend’s mom) spies on Magda through a telescope every night, and stalks her in various other ways. She either warms up to the idea or decides to fuck with him, I haven’t figured which, and gets him over to her place one night for just a few minutes… after which he runs home and tries to kill himself. She is crazy with worry, finally he resurfaces and I guess he has gotten over her.

Extended version, A Short Film About Love, apparently has a different ending. This episode and the previous one (which also has an extended theatrical version) were both letterboxed.

Magda starred in No End, Tomek was Kieslowski’s assistant director on half the Decalogue episodes, and the godmother died in April ’88 – this was her last role.


Commandment VII: Thou Shalt Not Steal


Lot of close-ups in this one. Young mother Majka and daughter Ania live with Majka’s mother Ewa (Anna Polony) and father (Wladyslaw Kowalski, star of that ugly live-cartoon movie Avalon). Elder Ewa treats little Ania as if she was daughter, not granddaughter, and Ania doesn’t even know Majka is her real mother. Majka solves this by kidnapping her own six-yr-old daughter during an outing and running away to the house of her former lover & high school teacher, now a teddy bear maker, giving it a sort of fairy-tale edge from the kid’s perspective. In the end Ewa gets the kid back but Majka flees on a train, and we’re left wondering where the kid really belongs, and whether Majka somewhat succeeded by convincing the kid that she is the real mother.

I liked. Same kind of morally questionable situation as parts two and five, but without the sour death tone hanging over it. If I ever get around to showing Katy a Decalogue episode, this would be a good starting point. Most of it takes place away from the apartment complex, and I didn’t see our Observer or anyone from another episode.


Commandment VIII: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness


“Why do some rescue others, while others can only be rescued?”

Opens with a memory/flashback. Not showy camerawork, some handheld, a few intense close-ups. Zbigniew Preisner’s musical style is easy to recognize. Listened to hours of his soundtracks between the last episode and this one. A very good episode.

Old woman Zofia (Maria Koscialkowska, above, appeared in famous unfinished Polish film Passenger 25 years earlier) keeps herself in shape while everything around her is falling apart – pictures won’t hang straight, lights won’t stay on and car sounds like it’s always on the verge of dying. Zofia teaches a college course on ethics, featuring an extended reference to episode two (“I can tell you that the child lives”), where she is visited by middle-aged interloper Elizabeth (Teresa Marczewska, below). E. claims that as a young Jewish girl during WWII, she came to Z.’s house for protection and was turned away. Later she studied Z. from afar, wrote books about her, but wants to know why. Turns out there was some bad info about the people with E. being nazi collaborators and Z. couldn’t risk it. The women seem to trust each other now, but there’s a shady, uneasy tone to the episode, somewhat lightened when Z. comes across a friendly contortionist during a jog. At the end, Z. takes E. to a man who did help her during the war, now a tailor (Tadeusz Lomnicki, narrated Passenger and appeared in Blind Chance and Man of Marble) but he won’t talk about the old days.


Commandment IX: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife


And now it’s the actual music from Blue, with heavy references to Double Life of Veronique in the story. A girl tells the surgeon “I’m not allowed to sing because my heart wouldn’t stand it” then recommends him some Von Den Budenmayer and adds “I know I’m someone else.” Cinematographer uses lots of light in almost every scene, a Decalogue rarity. Some lovely shots. Same cinematographer as part 3, later shot Red, then some random Hollywood stuff before his early death in 2001.

After former philanderer Roman learns he is impotent, he allows his wife to have affairs, but then becomes jealous and regretful. Roman hides, spies, believes that she loves the younger man more, when in fact she’s trying to get rid of him to stay with her husband. When she goes on a ski trip and Roman finds out the younger man is following her, he attempts suicide by bicycle, but survives for a tearful hospital reunion (and btw, he’s not impotent after all). Played a lot better than it sounds from my description.


Commandment X: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods


Involves death, robbery and deception, and does not end well for our heroes, but it seems lighthearted in comparison to the others, full of dark humor. One of the least believable of the series, which adds to the humor… these guys don’t quite seem real, so their loss isn’t as sad as it might be. Had the degree of obsession they show at the end (studying new stamps they bought for a few cents at the post office) been shown before the Scott Thompson guy opted for surgery to trade his kidney for a rare stamp, it might’ve turned more into a horrifying drama than a comedy.

Lead singer of a punk act Artur (Zbigniew Zamachowski, star of White) and family man Jerzy (Jerzy Stuhr, also of White and star of Camera Buff, who looks like Scott Thompson) are brothers who unknowingly inherit the largest, most valuable stamp collection in the country from their father. First they consider selling, but they’ve inherited their dad’s collector bug as well, so they move to protect and then to expand the collection (Jerzy trades a kidney for a one-of-a-kind stamp to complete a series). But all the stamps (except that one) are stolen while Jerzy is in the hospital.

Episode opens with Jerzy singing about breaking all the commandments. A kid who scams the brothers on behalf of other collectors was Tomek, the peeping tom from part six. Minimal music, uses drum rolls for punctuation, adding to the comic effect.



I didn’t watch these all at once. Started this entry August 2007, posted June 2008, whew.

Kieslowski: “When you work with the ten best cinematographers in the country, a kind of contest develops. … We managed to avoid the rut you fall into when you make films that take longer than two or three months to shoot. Things were different all the time. … I gave great freedom to my coworkers and friends the cameramen.”

Here’s to the cameramen! Some more screenshots:








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.

image missing

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.”

image missing

image missing