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A silent film. On a winter night, a young man stands apart at a club while others dance. He leaves, running to catch a tram. He notices a young woman sitting by herself. They make eye contact. He watches her as she looks away. He busies himself and chews a sugar cube; she smiles, then closes her eyes. He wonders what to do. He reaches his stop. Has he missed a life-changing chance? Written by
One of the first, if not the first, assignment in film school, is to make a silent film. Kieslowski has wisely limited his film to two characters and one location - a tram in the middle of the night- a boy- a girl- exchanged glances bespeaking of longings and loneliness and shyness. It is a clever and simple way of satisfying the assignment. The most interesting element is the way the boy chases the tram at the beginning, barely making it. The girl is on the tram suggesting the situation of the later masterpiece Blind Chance, except here, instead of the three alternative futures, each more bleak than the other, the young and still optimistic Kieslowski seems to give love and life a second chance to overcome fate or human weakness. The peculiar route of the tram at the end, looping back on itself, may be located at an end of the line turn around, but, being night, only the illumination from the tram can be seen as if playing a very strange game with the boy who takes up the chase after being given a second chance. It might be unfair, but it suggests, in a third hand, third eye kind of way, the overwhelmingly classic tram scene in Murnau's Sunrise
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