Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.
Kieslowski is something of a demigod in my film world. It isn't that he has mattered so much in the sense of affecting me. Its because he can push geography with the slightest touch, infer emotional richness with the most subtle of motions, show us beauty headon headon without artifice. His the most delicate power I know in cinema. His "Decalogue" is complex, open, engineered to be contradictory in ways that seem natural. But they are not where the real juice is. Its merely where he worked out the way to weave vision and narrative conflict with his companion and creative partner.
It's "Three Colors" where it pays off. These are miraculous and I wish them on any open soul. They will tear you gently in ways you will not notice for years, and then know all of a sudden when you meet someone.
In between "Decalogue and "Colors," we have this, essentially an adventure in moving from Polish to French vocabulary, both emotional and chromatic. Here we see some of the strokes we will encounter later, in one colored film even with the remarkable Irene. But he seems unsure here. Things aren't integrated between cinema and narrative as they were before and would be afterward. The eye doesn't inform with curious discovery, instead seems to glance around and hover.
I suppose it is because the story isn't well developed in the way that others are. The deal with Kieslowski I think (beyond the beauty) is that he is able to infer future urges that probably will loop back into places and persons we see. (He closes a very few of these ordinary loops in the third colors film). But he never closes them, not the ones that matter. So we are left with our own emotions going ahead and anticipating results that matter to us, things started and not finished, breath sent out for us to catch and breath.
This film is based on Alice in through the Lookingglass, with a number of less-than-deft fixtures to the source. He tries to build grand arcs of anticipated futures around this symmetry but they aren't fragile and supported by our wishes as we have elsewhere. I think it was simply a time of adjustment for him, and I cannot recommend this, even though I saved it for decades.
I will suggest that if you do watch it, see the same story, the same emotional effects, the same tantalizing near-closure in "Sex and Lucia" by someone less gifted with the eye, but more gifted with the mysteries of women. Watch out for the delicate tearing.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
- Nov 16, 2008