A terrible idea, of course", was Krzysztof Kieœlowski's first reaction when his co-scriptwriter, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, first suggested the idea for Dekalog--a series of 10 one-hour films, each inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. But from this unpromising beginning came an edgy, unsettling tour de force, the culmination of Kieœlowski's work in his native Poland and, quite possibly, the last cinematic masterpiece to come out of Communist Eastern Europe. The full Dekalog consists of ten one-hour films: this pair of double discs contains the first five. The links to the specific commandments are often oblique and imprecise, and shouldn't be taken too literally. Kieœlowski is using this framework not as a direct exposition of Mosaic Law, nor even as a commentary on its relevance today, but rather as a series of meditations on the complexity of moral choices. All the films are set in the same drab high-rise Warsaw housing estate, and characters from one story will show up the background of others, passing across the frame as they go about their business. One young man who appears in nearly all the films never plays a leading role nor even speaks a line, but remains a watchful, melancholy presence, haunting and disquieting, gazing at the events unfolding around him like an uneasy conscience. Grim though these stories are, there's often a note of ironic humour leavening the overall bleakness. But this set ends with one of the grimmest of all. In Dekalog 5 a young man murders a taxi driver for no apparent reason, then is executed himself. Both deaths are equally squalid and appalling. This episode was later expanded to feature-film length with the title A Short Film About Killing. The greater length enhanced its impact; it's a pity that room wasn't found for that longer version here. On the DVDs: Dekalog, Parts 1-5 offers very little additional material. The second disc, which contains episodes 4 and 5, also includes a brief on-screen text biography and filmography for Kieœlowski. The films are shown in their original 4:3 ratio, in a crisp clean transfer. --Philip Kemp
Even though one can view each segment of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours trilogy on its own, it seems absurd to do so; why buy the trousers instead of the entire suit? Created by Kieslowski and his writing partner Krzysztof Piesiewicz for France's bicentennial, the titles--and the themes of the films--come from the three colours of the French flag representing liberty, equality and fraternity. Blue examines liberation through the eyes of a woman (Juliette Binoche) who loses her husband and son in an auto accident, and solemnly starts anew. White is an ironic comedy about a befuddled Polish husband (Zbigniew Zamachowski) who takes an odd path of revenge against his ex-wife (Julie Delpy). A Swiss model (Irène Jacob) strikes up a friendship with a retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who eavesdrops on his neighbours in Red. The trilogy is a snapshot of European life at a time of reconstruction after the Cold War, reflected through Kieslowski's moralist view of human nature and illumined by each title's palate colour. On the DVD: The DVD set has numerous extras spread throughout the three discs; the end result is a superior collection. Each disc has a short retrospective, culled together from new interviews with Kieslowski's crew, plus film critic Geoff Andrew, biographer Annette Insdorf (who also does the commentaries), and fellow Polish director Ageniska Holland. Producer Marin Karmitz also reminisces about the experience. There's an exceptional effort to show the magic of Kieslowski (who died two years after the trilogy) through a discussion of his various career phases, interviews with the three lead actresses, four student films, and archival materials including simple--and wonderful--glimpses of the director at work. Excellent insight is also provided by Dominique Rabourdin's filmed "cinema lessons" with Kieslowski. Without viewing any of his other films, this set illustrates the uniqueness of Kieslowski. --Doug Thomas
The double-disc set Dekalog, Parts 6-10, contains the last five of Kieslowski's 10 one-hour modern morality tales, each one loosely linked to one of the 10 Commandments. All set in and around the same drab, high-rise Warsaw housing estate, they intriguingly explore moral dilemmas without ever coming to any glib conclusions. As always, Kieslowski is far more interested in posing questions than in supplying answers. The series was originally made for Polish television, and has since been shown on TV stations all round the world, though never in the cinema. While they can easily be watched separately, being individual stories, there's no question that they gain in impact from being taken in conjunction with each other. Kieslowski used a different cinematographer for each film (except Nos. 3 and 9, both photographed by Piotr Sobocinski) to give a distinct feel to each story. While none of them--as you might expect from this director--offer a barrel of laughs, some are decidedly lighter in tone. Indeed the series ends on an almost farcical note: Dekalog 10 tells the tale of two brothers seized with paranoia when their late father leaves them a valuable stamp collection. By contrast, Dekalog 6 is one of the most moving and compassionate in the collection: a woman who finds a young lad is obsessively spying on her inflicts an intolerable humiliation on him. This, like No. 5 in the series, was expanded by 25 minutes or so into a feature film, A Short Film about Love. Here too, it seems a pity that the longer version couldn't have been included in the set. On the DVDs: Dekalog, Parts 1-6 is slightly better served for extras than the first set; this includes a 50-minute interview with Kieslowski, one of the last he gave before his early death. As usual, he stonewalls all the questions with barely concealed impatience. The transfer captures the muted colours of the original, and the Dolby 1.0 sound is crisp and clear. --Philip Kemp
Available for the first time in the UK on Blu-ray, Krzysztof Kieslowski's multi award-winning trilogy is a landmark of world cinema. Three Colours: Blue, White and Red have been acclaimed as masterpieces by critics and audiences the world over. The films, co-written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with whom he wrote the epic Dekalog cycle, explore the French Revolutionary ideals of freedom, equality and brotherhood and their relevance to the contemporary world.Blue examines liberation through the eyes of a woman (Juliette Binoche) who loses her husband and son in an auto accident, and solemnly starts anew. White is an ironic comedy about a befuddled Polish husband (Zbigniew Zamachowski) who takes an odd path of revenge against his ex-wife (Julie Delpy). A Swiss model (Irne Jacob) strikes up a friendship with a retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who eavesdrops on his neighbours in Red. The trilogy is a snapshot of European life at a time of reconstruction after the Cold War, reflected through Kieslowski's moralist view of human nature and illumined by each title's palate colour.
The final section of the late Krzysztof Kieslowski's acclaimed Three Colours trilogy (preceded by Blue and White) is the least likely of the three to stand alone, and indeed benefits from a little familiarity with the first two parts. Nevertheless, it's a strong, unique piece that reflects upon the ubiquity of images in the modern world and the parallel subjugation of meaningful communication. Irène Jacob plays a fashion model whose lovely face is hugely enlarged on a red banner no one in Geneva, Switzerland, can possibly miss seeing. Striking up a relationship with an embittered former judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant), who secretly scans his neighbours' conversations through electronic surveillance, Jacob's character becomes an aural witness to the secret lives of those we think we know. Kieslowski cleverly wraps up the trilogy with a device that brings together the principals of all three films. --Tom Keogh
The first instalment of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the three colours of the French flag. Blue is the most sombre of the three, a movie dominated by feelings of grief. As the film begins, a car accident claims the life of a well-known composer. His wife, played by Juliette Binoche (Oscar winner for The English Patient), does not so much put the pieces of her life back together as start an entirely new existence. She moves to Paris, where she dissolves into a wordless life virtually without other people. Kieslowski attaches an almost subconscious significance to the colour blue but primarily he focuses on Binoche's luminous face and the way her subtle shifts in emotion flicker and disappear. The picture may be more enigmatic than the follow-ups White and Red but Binoche's quiet, heartbreaking presence becomes spellbinding; her performance won the best actress prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1993. --Robert Horton
Few names are as synonymous with Polish cinema as that of Krzystof KieÅlowski, the renowned auteur responsible for the Dekalog and Three Colours trilogy. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and his subsequent creative and critical success in France, KieÅlowski plied his trade within the confines of the Eastern Bloc, capturing the realities of everyday life under Soviet rule. This collection gathers his four earliest narrative feature films, encapsulating the years 19761984. In 1976's The Scar, a well-intentioned Party loyalist is charged with overseeing the construction of a new chemical plant in the face of fierce resistance and is forced to confront the conflict between his good intentions and local opposition. In 1979's Camera Buff, a family man and amateur filmmaker experiences a dramatic change in fortunes when his newfound hobby opens up new horizons but also results in deep marital and philosophical conflicts. Blind Chance, completed in 1981 and denied a release in its native Poland until 1987, presents three possible outcomes to a single, seemingly banal event a young medical student running to catch a train and, in the process, explores the relationship between chance and choice. Finally, in 1984's No End, a recently bereaved translator juggles the conflicting demands of her work, caring for her son and her continued visions of her late husband, all against the backdrop of a Poland under the grip of martial law. As socially conscious as KieÅlowski's earlier documentary shorts, this quartet of films covers a tumultuous period in Polish and Eastern European history, shot with unflinching realism by a filmmaker of distinction. LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS: Limited Edition collection (2000 copies) High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all four films Original lossless mono audio for all films Optional English subtitles for all films Brand new audio commentary on Camera Buff by critic Annette Insdorf Brand new audio commentary on Blind Chance by film historian Michael Brooke Ghost of a Chance, a brand new visual essay on No End by Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez Lopez Moral and Martial Anxieties, a brand new discussion with Michael Brooke, exploring the brief and remarkable Polish film renaissance of the turn of the 1980s Brand new introductions by scholar and critic MichaÅ Oleszczyk to all films MichaÅ Oleszczyk looks through archive materials for each film Archival interviews with filmmakers Agnieska Holland and Krzysztof Zanussi, cinematographers Slawomir Idziak and Jacek Petrycki, actress Grazyna Szapoloska, sound designer Michal Zarnecki, critic Annette Insdorf and KieÅlowski collaborator Irena Strazakowska Three short films by KieÅlowski: Talking Heads (1980), Concert of Requests (1995) and The Office (1995) Workshop Exercises, a 1987 short film by Marcel Lonzinski Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by scholars and authors Ewa Mazierska, Marek Hatlof, Dina Iordanova and Joseph G. Kickasola, and original writing by KieÅlowski
Krzysztof Kieslowski's Dekalog is one of the greatest achievements of the late 20th century - as much an intricate work of moral philosophy as it is a collection of psychologically riveting narratives. Each standalone story revolves around the consequences arising from a breach of one of the Ten Commandments, but this is no finger-wagging religious tract: Kieslowski was one of film history's keenest observers of human nature, and his troubled, vainglorious, self-deceiving, deeply flawed characters (many played by some of Poland's finest character actors) are universally recognisable. Special Contents: 4K restoration of all ten episodes, presented in their original broadcast aspect ratios Original uncompressed Polish mono soundtrack, with optional English subtitles The Guardian Interview: Krzysztof Kieslowski, an onstage conversation with Derek Malcolm at London's National Film Theatre on 2 April 1990 to mark the British premiere of Dekalog Dekalog: An Appreciation, in which critic Tony Rayns, a Kieslowski champion for many decades, pays tribute to his masterpiece
Krzystof Kieslowski took several years to complete his mammoth project of filming his Dekalog, each infused with a very personal motivation and dealing with conflicting opinions relating to the imperfections in both the ancient and modern legal codes. A Short Film About Killing is based on the Fifth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill, and is a psychological vivisection of the brutal and senseless murder of a taxi driver by a young drifter, with no explanation offered, and no extenuating circumstances given. Kieslowski demonstrates his skill and dexterity as a master of suspense, keeping tensions rising and viewers in knots, producing a searing, powerful moral indictment of capital punishment.
White is the second of witty Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowki's "three colours" trilogy Blue, White, and Red--the three colours of the French flag, symbolising liberty, equality and fraternity. White is an ironic comedy brimming over with the hard laughs of despair, ecstasy, ambition and longing played in a minor key. Down-and-out Polish immigrant Karol Karol is desperate to get out of France. He's obsessed with his French soon-to-be ex-wife (Before Sunrise's Julie Delpy), his French bank account is frozen, and he's fed up with the inequality of it all. Penniless, he convinces a fellow Pole to smuggle him home in a suitcase--which then gets stolen from the airport. The unhappy thieves beat him and dump him in a snowy rock pit. Things can only get better, right? The story evolves into a wickedly funny anti-romance, an inverse Romeo and Juliet. Because it's in two foreign languages, the dialogue can be occasionally hard to follow, but some of the most genuinely funny and touching moments need no verbal explanation. --Grant Balfour
A beautiful and disquieting romantic mystery from Krzysztof Kieslowski The Double Life of Veronique stars Irene Jacob winner of the Cannes 1991 Best Actress award for her performance as Veronique and Veronika. Born at the same time 20 years ago in Poland and France; Veronique and Veronika are identical in every way yet share neither mother nor father. They grow up to lead eerily similar lives; both are left-handed like to walk barefoot have sublime singing voices share a
Kieslowski's 'A Short Film About Love' was expanded from one of the most lyrical episodes in 'Dekalog' his celebrated cycle of short films based on the Ten Commandments. A young man falls in love with an older woman who lives across the courtyard in the same Warsaw apartment block. He watches her and her succession of lovers until she becomes aware of his spying and confronts him with a sexual invitation.
Krysztof KieslowskiÂ's A Short Film About Love was expanded from one of the most lyrical episodes in Dekalog, his celebrated cycle of short films based on the Ten Commandments. A young man falls in love with an older woman who lives across the courtyard in the same Warsaw apartment block. He watches her and her succession of lovers until she becomes aware of his spying and confronts him with a sexual invitation.
The Double Life Of Veronique one of the most acclaimed films by the masterful Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski (director of Dekalog and the Three Colours Trilogy) is a beautifully lyrical and enigmatic tale of duality and yearning. Co-written by Kieslowski's regular collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz and shot by Dekalog and Blue cinematographer Slawomir Idziak the film also features a haunting and unforgettable musical score by the incomparable Zbigniew Preisner. Two young women lead totally separate lives in France and in Poland one called Veronique and one called Weronika. They have no blood relation and they and their families have never met but they are physically identical to one another and strangely aware of each other's presence. Despite their different backgrounds the two share the same likes and foibles and above all both of them have a magnificent sublime voice and an extraordinary musical talent. Unfortunately each girl suffers from the same barely detectable cardiac malformation. They also share the same wisdom inspiring one to unconsciously avoid making the same mistakes in life as the other... There are wonderful performances by the whole cast but Ir''ne Jacob is utterly captivating in the twin roles of Veronique and Weronika her luminous performance both magical and unsettling.
'A Short Film About Killing' is based on the Fifth Commandment: 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' and is a psychological vivisection of the brutal and senseless murder of a taxi-driver by a young drifter with no explanation offered and no extenuating circumstances given. Kieslowski demonstrates his skill and dexterity as a master of suspense keeping tensions rising and viewers in knots producing a searing powerful moral indictment of capital punishment. Directed by Kieslowski the direct
Poland is under martial law and in 1982 Solidarity is banned. Ulla a translator working on Orwell suddenly loses her husband Antek an attorney. She is possessed by her grief but Antek continues to appear to her...
Poland in the politically turbulent late 1970s: Witek is running to catch a train. From this banal event Krzysztof Kieslowski the director of 'Dekalog' and the 'Three Colours' trilogy imagines three different possible outcomes in the young man's life. In the first scenario Witek catches the train on which he meets some hard line communists and joins the party. In the second as Witek runs for the train his path is blocked by a ticket inspector; the ensuing struggle leads to hi
Filip a clerk in a small Polish town buys an 8mm camera to film the baby his wife is expecting. His bosses take an interest in it and commision him to film the company's 25th anniversary celebrations. When the result wins a prize at an amateur film festival Filip encouraged by his success becomes consumed by his new found passion. But as he develops his creative skills Filip soon discovers that his devotion to making films has unexpected consequences as tensions arise in his ma
The final section of the late Krzysztof Kieslowski's acclaimed Three Colours trilogy (preceded by Blue and White) is the least likely of the three to stand alone and indeed benefits from a little familiarity with the first two parts. Nevertheless it's a strong unique piece that reflects upon the ubiquity of images in the modern world and the parallel subjugation of meaningful communication. Irène Jacob plays a fashion model whose lovely face is hugely enlarged on a red banner no one in Geneva Switzerland can possibly miss seeing. Striking up a relationship with an embittered former judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who secretly scans his neighbours' conversations through electronic surveillance Jacob's character becomes an aural witness to the secret lives of those we think we know. Kieslowski cleverly wraps up the trilogy with a device that brings together the principals of all three films. - Tom Keogh
'The Scar' is the assured debut theatrical feature by Krysztof Kieslowski the director of the 'Three Colours' trilogy and 'Dekalog'. In the impoverished Polish town of Olecko Stefan Bednarz is put in charge of the construction of a large chemical plant which is being built against the wishes of the local populace. Although it will improve the town's economic prospects and provide badly needed new jobs the factory will also mean the destruction of many homes and adversely affect
Please wait. Loading...