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Kieślowski, Krzysztof


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#1 hal0000

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:58 PM

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There is a spiritual and emotional resonance coursing through Krzysztof Kieslowski's work that is rarely matched. His stories are remarkable not merely for what happens or why, but how they happen. This makes multiple viewings especially rewarding, and his films are not plotlines so much as meditations of the human soul. In The Double Life of Veronique in particular, there is such a level of intimacy between the actors, the director, the camera, and the audience, that these entities seem to merge into a single disposition in a way that can almost be described as cinematic lovemaking.

A director whose career began in documentary filmmaking, Kieslowski’s work exhibits an incredible understanding of human reality and emotion. Never one to underestimate the audience’s intelligence, Kieslowski’s narrative abilities rival the pure cinema of Hitchcock, with the technical prowess of Kubrick, and the emotional intensity of Bergman.

Recommended Films:

Blind Chance
Camera Buff
The Dekalog
The Double Life of Veronique
Three Colors: Blue, White, & Red
A Short Film About Killing
A Short Film About Love

#2 Opale

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:29 PM

I only watched Trois couleurs and those are the kind of movies you can watch a thousands of times and discover new senses/messages in it...

Just watched Dekalog I on you tube and I loved it! I will buy it eventually...

#3 hal0000

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:24 PM

^ Definitely watch The Double Life of Veronique (or even buy the criterion... you know you want to ^_^ ). While I can't decide whether I like it or Three Colors more, I have rarely seen a film that is as visceral as Double Life and the CC release of it is top notch.

A note on the Facets dvd of Dekalog: It's very mediocre (in terms of image quality). If the films weren't as great as they are, it could've been difficult getting through them. I was shocked when I saw Kino's version of A Short Film About Killing, which has some absolutely stunning cinematography (ASFAK is the extended version of Dekalog V for those who don't know). There is a huge difference in transfers between Kino's A Short Film About Killing and Facets' Dekalog V... really is night and day, even to my plebian eyes.

A question for Duke (or anyone else): How's the AE release? I don't have a region free player but I'm curious.

I found with The Dekalog that even though they are only an hour long each, I couldn't watch more than one a day for most of them, which is a testament to how economical they are and how much I had to contemplate each one.

#4 Duke Togo

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:09 AM

^
I can't say you would be all that impressed with the the PQ of the AEs, I found them rather poor. I would honestly be surprised if the Facets looked worse, though I'd rather give my business to AE just because. The Beaver really needs to get on adding the AEs to their comparison. ^_^

#5 hal0000

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 12:16 AM

I've just seen Camera Buff... and it's getting a recommendation! This film is Kieslowski's 8 1/2, and I think I actually prefer it to that one. Definitely like The Red Shoes as well, with the age old dilemma of vocation vs. life. Yet, it also invoked the incredible resonating empathy I felt during The Purple Rose of Cairo. I've always loved films that are fantasy/fiction grounded by reality (i.e., Purple Rose, Roman Holiday, Pan's Labyrinth, etc.). I can't recommend this enough, definitely check it out.

On a side note: My new disc was skipping badly with all kinds of lossy image breakup, which was kind of frustrating. I take out the disc, and there is what appears to be ink on the optical side (almost looks like a serial number stamp). After some delicate wiping with an alcohol swab and microfiber cloth, most of it's gone and hopefully it plays okay now.

I'll also give a milder recommendation to Blind Chance, which I really liked. I tend to not like politics in films, but Kieslowski manages to stay objective without being indifferent.

#6 hal0000

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:36 PM

Just finished my entry for A Short Film About Killing, if anyone's interested. What I like about The Decalogue in particular is that each film stands on its own and they can, if desired, be viewed separately. But in thinking about them as a cohesive whole, they gain even more meaning.

#7 clydefro

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:02 AM

In terms of my own experiences with Kieslowski, I watched the Three Colors films a few years ago with increasing admiration. Blue was difficult to get past the Binoche's character's behavior, White felt less ambitious but more entertaining, and Red was the perfect happy medium and still my favorite of his films. After purchasing the Kino set during a Deep Discount sale, I was completely indifferent to The Scar. That put me off Kieslowski until I saw A Short Film About Killing, which I cringed at throughout. The death penalty is just too sore of a subject for me personally to accept such a violent film with even half-open arms.

But then after a little bit, I saw A Short Film About Love and that same overwhelming response I got after Red came back. That's really the film that separates Kieslowski from other directors for me. There's so much pathos, so much humanity and adolescent confusion there, and it defines a degree or two of the power of cinema in my mind. He completely gives himself to the fantasy of the story while maintaining a very defined sense of place and emotion. I'm honestly disheartened that it's the other end of that spectrum, the Killing film, that tends to get the most attention when the Love entry resonates far more on a human level. So few face the torment of murder but nearly everyone experiences the emotion of love.

I finally caught up to The Double Life of Veronique from there, and I'm still mentally dissecting that one. Plus I have the other three films in the Kino set to wade through, movies which, thankfully, I'm far more interested in viewing now than I was after just seeing The Scar.




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