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The first Kieslowski Kieslowski.

Author: max von meyerling from New York
7 April 2006

This is the mature Kieslowski film in embryo. We see him leave his documentary style behind and strike out for new territory. First of all he collaborated with another writer, Ireneusz Iredynski. And then there is the fact that he is shooting better looking people, much better looking people

The story find two teachers from the provinces in Warsaw with a group of school children. The younger, movie star handsome teacher says he's going out for the night. In fact, he won't be back all night and will meet them in the train station in the morning. The older teacher gives him a wink and a thumbs up as he assumes, as does the audience that this will inevitably lead to a some sort of studly situation. The teacher goes into a vast underground passageway under a traffic circle in the center of Warsaw. After some confusion he finds the right shop and and the window dresser inside. He enters the shop and begins talking with the woman in a familiar and friendly manner. While the Kieslowski documentary technique, specifically identifies all the participants and their attributes as they are heavily involved with various bureaucracies and bureaucrats who have to know such things up front. Names and numbers, identity cars, marriage certificates and death certificates. Endless personal details.

Now Kieslowski is sparing with such details. The characters are never named nor the towns they're from. They have no 'back story'. They are just what you see and you learn things, like the precise relationship between the man and the woman, as its revealed in the normal course of things. In this case the man and woman are married. She's getting a divorce and he wants her back. Apparently he kicked her out of the house calling her a slut, but, considering subsequent Kieslowski works, very often men kick women out of their houses when the woman is halfway through the door holding a suitcase. The effect of leaving the past history as something of a black spot gives the view space to think, to consider, to ponder and to analyze: The magic of the later works.

This was supposed to be a ten day shoot and on the ninth day Kieslowski realized that what he was making was all wrong. On the last day instead he began all over again from the beginning and gave his actors a general talking to and had them speak their lines in their own words as if improvised and just followed them around the shop with a hand held camera.

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