Sunday, December 27, 2009

Krzysztof Kieslowski and Heavenly Bodies

This is Kieslowski, the Transmogrifer's favorite movie director. He is from Poland and his movies are subtitled but well worth the viewer participation to enjoy them. I will discuss them in the order that I encountered them.

Juliette Binoche in Blue

"First in the Three Colours trilogy in which Kieslowski's close-ups explore ideas of "freedom" from the personal perspective of his heroine Julie. One of the most highly regarded & awarded films of the 1990s with mysterious & hauntingly beautiful cinematography by Slawomir Idziak, a daring, breakout performance by Juliette Binoche & evocative score by Zbigniew Preisner."

Irene Jacob in Red

A beautifully woven tale of chance encounters and relationships, Red is Kieslowski's best, and possibly final, film. Red is an altogether darker colour than blue and white and this is reflected in the film. Rich and complex in both tone and emotion, Red defies the usual conventions of associating the colour with blood, danger and evil (in most films, red is used to represent evil, blue is good and white is for innocence) and instead uses it to signify optimism, frustration and FRATERNITE.

Irene Jacob gives a splendid performance as Valentine, a young model who meets a former judge (Jean-Loius Trintignant) and together grow closer. They explore the boundaries of their relationship and rekindle qualities in each other that had been forgotten or neglected. Their influence on Valentine's neighbour, a judge to be, and his girlfriend parallels the implications of extending a fraternal hand to those in need.

As with the rest of the trilogy, Kieslowski's use of locations is truly masterful lending the streets of Geneva a serene beauty. Innovative camera work allows the film to almost hypnotize the viewer, drawing them into the world of the characters and evoking an empathy with them and their destinies.

Irene Jacob in The Double Life of Veronique

Krzysztof Kieślowski's 1991 feature, The Double Life of Véronique, is a mysterious little movie. While it does tell a story in a semblance of conventional narrative, it's also an emotional jigsaw puzzle, a feat of storytelling agility that puts a lot of trust in its audience. Kieślowski is stingy with the exposition, instead asking us to follow and not to worry about where we are going. Our belief that he will get us somewhere will be its own reward.

another fine movie with Irene Jacob and Willem Dafoe
(not directed by Kieslowski)

Transmogrifer's transition: of all that man values,
the young and voluptuous girl is far more ephemeral and
valuable than gold. The following are images that
illustrate that idea/fantasy.

The devil has a Swiss bank that even God cannot access

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