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The first part of Kieslowski's trilogy on France's national motto: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. 'Blue' is the story of Julie who loses her husband, an acclaimed composer and her young daughter in a car accident. The film's theme of liberty is manifested in Julie's attempt to start life anew, free of personal commitments, belongings, grief or love. She intends to numb herself by withdrawing from the world and living completely independently, anonymously and in solitude in the Parisian metropolis. Despite her intentions, people from her former and present life intrude with their own needs. However, the reality created by the people who need and care about her, a surprising discovery and the music around which the film revolves heal Julie and draws her back to the land of the living. Written by
Fade outs in this film, which are traditionally used in movies to represent time passing or to conclude a certain scene, instead bring the viewers back to the point in time which the fade out began. The occasional fade outs and fade ins to Julie's character are used to represent an extremely subjective point of view. According to director Kieslowski: "at a certain moment, time really does pass for Julie while at the same time, it stands still. Not only does her music come back to haunt her at a certain point, but time stands still for a moment." See more »
Julie mentions 'altos' as she describes the entrances of various instruments. The same word appears in the English subtitles as she speaks. The sound we hear, though, is not a group of female singers but a body of stringed instruments. In French the word 'alto' refers to a viola; the subtitle is a mistranslation. See more »
Now I have only one thing left to do: nothing. I don't want any belongings, any memories. No friends, no love. Those are all traps.
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The final credit says in French, "We thank Alfa Romeo who allowed the scene of the accident to the Alfa 164 whose dynamics are of course purely imaginary." See more »
Krzysztof Kieslowski is, unquestionably, the master of the visual narrative.
More-so than even La Double Vie de Veronique (which is much more poetic than linear in it's structure), Trois Couleurs: Bleu is a marvel of visual exposition. Due to the nature of the film, exposition in this case is not necessarily related to plot, but rather to the understanding of a human being.
Kieslowski delves so deeply into the true nature of Julie (Juliette Binoche) and in such a remarkable way that by the end of the film we understand her utterly. Free from the clutter of dialogue and, for the most part, interaction with other characters we see Julie alone and in her most natural state. Kieslowski takes his documentary background and conveys his character in an almost voyeuristic manner. Showing Julie in anything but a state of solitude would be false; due to human nature Julie with Oliver would not be Julie, but rather a reflection of her true self which, although certainly interesting, pales in comparison to observing her silently struggle with the death of her husband and daughter alone.
Kieslowski played with applying the documentary techniques, which he perfected in his early work, to the narrative form in The Dekalog with tremendous, although at times visually mundane, results. The Dekalog looks like a documentary. Here, he turns over much visual control to his Director of Photographer, Slawomir Idziak, with tremendously cinematic results. Idziak's use of color and light, combined with his groundbreaking filter work, serve to further explore Julie's character. Blue feels like a documentary and looks like a dismal Rembrandt. While Kieslowski concentrates on showing the true nature of Julie through action, Idziak contributes by showing her through light and color.
Trois Couleurs: Blue is an almost unmatched achievement in the history of cinema. Never before has a character been conveyed so splendidly and in such a visually stunning manner.
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