The plot couldn't be simpler or its attack on capital punishment (and the act of killing in general) more direct - a senseless, violent, almost botched murder is followed by a cold, ... See full summary »
Filip buys an eight-millimetre movie camera when his first child is born. Because it's the first camera in town, he's named official photographer by the local Party boss. His horizons widen... See full summary »
It's 1982: Poland is under martial law, and Solidarity is banned. Ulla, a translator working on Orwell, suddenly loses her husband, Antek, an attorney. She is possessed by her grief, and ... See full summary »
19-year-old Tomek whiles away his lonely life by spying on his opposite neighbour Magda through binoculars. She's an artist in her mid-thirties, and appears to have everything - not least a constant stream of men at her beck and call. But when the two finally meet, they discover that they have a lot more in common than appeared at first sight... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As said in my review of 'A Short Film About Killing', the more work I see of Krzysztof Kieslowski, the stronger the feeling that he was an incredibly gifted director, responsible for some brilliant work, taken from us too soon.
Have yet to see anything bad from him, with even my least favourite (the eighth episode of 'Dekalog') still being very good, with the masterful 'Dekalog' and 'Three Colors: Red' (all three "Three Colors" films are must watches, but especially 'Red') being particularly great. Like 'A Short Film About Killing' was an expansion of Episode 5 of 'Dekalog', 'A Short Film About Love' is an expanded feature length version of Episode 6 (to me like Episode 5 one of the best 'Dekalog' episodes).
Granted, 'A Short Film About Love' is not for everybody and it is easy to understand why. It seems to have been mistaken for a depressing take on romantic love, to me while there is love and passion (being two of the main themes of Episode 6 of 'Dekalog') it is a more complex and darker interpretation of "love" but is actually much more than that. Often it is more a film about obsession, forgiveness, lust and heartache. People may easily dismiss 'A Short Film About Love' as pessimistic and dispassionate, perverted has even been used, while others find it beautiful, haunting and moving. Belong in the latter category myself.
Kieslowski's films are all visually striking and exceptionally well made. The same can be said for 'A Short Film About Love'. As well as being beautifully shot with atmospheric use of colour to match the mood, it is gritty yet beautiful with many thoughtful and emotionally powerful images lingering long into the memory. Kieslowski's direction is quietly unobtrusive, intelligently paced and never too heavy, and the music is suitably intricate.
The themes and ideals are used to full potential, and the characters and their relationships and conflicts feel so real and emotionally resonant without being heavy-handed. Despite being based around one of the ten commandments, don't let that put you off, resemblance to religion is relatively scant, unless anybody argues God's seeming love for sinners. Being a non-religious person that's not for me to say, just mentioning an interesting and quite unusual observation read recently about the film.
Story-wise, it's deliberate in pace but rich and provocative. It's never dull, and more often than not it's creepy (like Magda being followed out of the post-office), poignant (Tomek on the roof, Magda in tears after knocking over milk and the heart-wrenching fantasy about what life might have been with him). There is even some nice black humour that is so subtle it's easy to miss.
'A Short Film About Love's' themes of obsession, stalking, lust, love, passion, forgiveness and heartache are expertly explored, likewise with the characterisations and interactions. The acting is superb as to be expected from both the two leads, again the complexity and nuances of the performances is to be admired.
Overall, another masterpiece from Kieslowski though one of his most divisive. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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