Three Colours Trilogy DVD


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 [show more]

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26 April 2004
Artificial Eye Film Company Ltd. 
277 minutes 
Box set, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen 
  • Average Rating for Three Colours Trilogy [1993] - 4 out of 5

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  • Three Colours Trilogy [1993]
    John Redman

    "Three Colours Blue" is a superb film. It is very French, which is a tribute to the Polish director. Juliette Binoche gives a tour de force as the widow of an acclaimed composer. She shrinks into a shell and drops out of the society she has known. During this period she befriends and helps a neighbouring tenant who is being hounded out of the apartment block because of her whorish behaviour. Binoche is constantly haunted by her husband's music and it is the music that brings her back into mainstream life when she collaborates in finishing the composition for Europe. This piece of music is particularly inspiring.
    "Three Colours White" is a revenge film with a twist. The main character, Karol, Zbigniew Zamachowski, is not only dumped by his wife, Julie Delpy, but also taken for every penny and accused of arson and breaking and entering. Wanted by the police he befriends a fellow Pole who smuggles him back to Poland in a suitcase. Once there he works for a money lender whom he double-crosses in order to make a killing in land speculation. From here he sets up business, makes much money and then fakes his own death. His wife is drawn back to Poland because of the large bequest, only to be arrested and imprisoned for his murder. The final scene where Karol gazes at his wife in her high prison cell is reminiscent of Rapunzel.
    The final film, "Three Colours Red", depicts a series of loosley related events that lead to various characters lives intermingling. The two main characters are a retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and a young and beautiful model (Irène Jacob), brought together because of an injured dog. These two spend time in philosophical discussions and grow ever fonder of each other. Simultaneously a young man aiming to be a judge, a mirror image of the retired judge, wrestles between studying and pleasing his slightly older girlfriend. Once he qualifies, she leaves him for another, just as the older judge's wife had done. The conclusion comes with Jacob sailing to England to meet her lover. The ferry sinks and Trintignant pores over the news to see who is saved. There are seven including Binoche and her collaborator, Karol, the new young judge and Jacob, whom it turns out is Swiss. Thus the films are cleverly linked.
    These films are thought-provoking, beautifully filmed and contain high quality performances from all involved. Watch out for Kieslowski's recurring motif of an old person struggling to put a bottle into a bottle bank!

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Krzysztof Kieslowski's multi-award-winning trilogy, acclaimed by critics as a landmark in world cinema. Kieslowski based the trilogy on the ideals embodied in the French national flag. In the first part, 'Three Colours: Blue', Julie (Juliette Binoche) has her world turned upside down when her husband and daughter are killed in a car crash. She sells the family home and moves to a Parisian suburb, attempting to build a new life for herself. But her efforts to start afresh are dragged down by memories from the past and fear of the present. In the second part, 'Three Colours: White'. Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) is a Polish hairdresser living in Paris. He has just been divorced and kicked out onto the streets by his beautiful young wife Dominique (Julie Delpy). Whilst begging on the Metro, Karol is befriended by his fellow countryman Mikolaj, who agrees to smuggle him back to Warsaw in a trunk. Once home Karol begins to rebuild his life, and, by cunning means, starts to make enormous profits in Poland's new free-market system. He then puts his newly-acquired wealth to use, and starts to enact a complex plan to bring Dominique back into his life. In the third and final part, 'Three Colours: Red', fashion model Valentine (Irene Jacob) accidentally runs over a dog. She takes him to a vet, gets him patched up, then tries to return him to his owner. It turns out that the owner is Joseph Kern (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a retired judge who lives alone and listens in on his neighbours' telephone conversations. Valentine and Joseph slowly become friends; meanwhile, one of Joseph's neighbours cheats on her boyfriend, a young law student who will have an important effect on Valentine's life.

Three Colours Trilogy [DVD] [DVD] (2004) Juliette Binoche; Benoit Regent