On Guard

I spend a great deal of time telling myself what not to write about. Or, to be more precise, what I feel I shouldn’t write about. I’m pretty sure it was Krzysztof Kieslowski – still my favourite director, in case anyone’s interested – who said that he abandoned documentaries in favour of fictional features because the latter allowed him to be more truthful. I believe he was referring to the very specific issue of exposing intimacies and personal situations that one simply couldn’t film in a fly-on-the-wall, documentary format. But I think his statement also hints at the notion that fiction is a kind of shield. A layer of protection. For the author.

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2019 Film Reviews – 9: Three Colours: White [dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski; 1994]

Forgive me, but this post is going to be a bit of a cheat. Instead of offering a new review of Three Colours: White, I’m going to direct you to the latest issue of Sight & Sound (digital version out now; print edition in shops from 7th Feb) which contains an article on Kieślowski‘s movie by none other than yours truly. I am beyond delighted … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 9: Three Colours: White [dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski; 1994]

Film Review: Three Colours Red / Trois Couleurs Rouge [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1994]

When you know a film as well as I know Red, re-watching it becomes an experience that’s as much about yourself as it is about the movie. You find yourself reacting less strongly to aspects which had a tremendous impact on you years ago, whilst scenes which seemed relatively unimportant when you were younger resonate with new force. Like all great works of art, Kieslowski’s final … Continue reading Film Review: Three Colours Red / Trois Couleurs Rouge [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1994]

Film Review: Three Colours White / Trois Couleurs Blanc [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1994]

When it was released in the mid-90s, White was dimissed as the weakest chapter of Kieslowski’s trilogy. Although I’ve always been very fond of it, I concede that much of its impact is lost in translation, not least because of its tone-deaf English subtitles. However, recent socio-economic events have been kind to this sardonic essay on the pros and cons of equality. In the 90s, Poland was desperate to … Continue reading Film Review: Three Colours White / Trois Couleurs Blanc [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1994]

Film Review: Three Colours Blue / Trois Couleurs Bleu [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1993]

About fifteen minutes into its running time, Blue‘s protagonist (played with unforgettable precision by Juliette Binoche) is woken from a nap by a burst of orchestral music. She looks straight into the camera, following its movement as it pans from one side of her face to the other. The screen is filled with a deep shade of azure; then it fades to black. We’re not sure if the … Continue reading Film Review: Three Colours Blue / Trois Couleurs Bleu [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1993]

Film Review: A Separation / Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin [dir. Asghar Farhadi; 2011]

With painstaking attention to detail, Farhadi weaves an intricate web of deception and conflicted loyalties based around a middle class man’s attempt to find someone to look after his Alzheimer’s-suffering father whilst he’s away at work. When the woman he employs accuses him of causing her to have a miscarriage, events around the characters become increasingly convoluted. This is cinema at its very best: layered, … Continue reading Film Review: A Separation / Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin [dir. Asghar Farhadi; 2011]

Film Review: The Double Life Of Veronique / La Double Vie De Veronique [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1991]

It’s difficult to be concise about a film I know better than almost any other, but I must adhere to my self-imposed one-paragraph rule and resist the temptation to produce a dissertation. (Speaking of which, would anyone like to read my thesis on the Three Colours? What’s that? I’ve made you all read it already? Oh, right.) In short, then, this is one of the … Continue reading Film Review: The Double Life Of Veronique / La Double Vie De Veronique [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1991]