Sunday, 13 January 2013

(2) Introduction: Three Colours: Blue/White/Red

In the next three posts I intend to look at the Krzysztof Kieślowski's (1941-1996) Three Colours Blue/White/Red trilogy. Before I do that, I would like to give you a short introduction to the trilogy.

Kieślowski was a Polish film director, who I like to say respected the viewer, saw the viewer as someone, who is allowed to think and relate to the film in his own way rather than the director's pin pointed way. Cinema as any other form of art works in a very subjective way. Kieślowski himself said: "The audiences I like most are those who say that the film's about them, or those who say that it meant something to them, those for whom the film changed something" (Kieślowski on  Kieślowski). Therefore, in the next three posts I will try to find my interpretation of these films, I will attempt to understand what they changed for me. It will be a purely subjective way to reflect upon these three films and to fathom how these films tell their story to me.

For the first time I watched the trilogy during the last summer, when my partner Mike brought all the three films home and said, that I need to see them, that I will enjoy them. He was right. Soon after I came across BFI published book The 'Three Colours' Trilogy by Geoff Andrew, which is his subjective way of approaching films. Andrew writes that with the Three Colours trilogy  Kieślowski's "search for new, more precise ways to explore people's inner lives ... films that concerned the worlds of intuition and of the intellect" (The 'Three Colours' Trilogy). The main idea for the trilogy to Kieślowski was given by a lawyer and a screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz, who wanted to examine how the ideals of the French revolution work in the present, ideals being - liberty, equality, fraternity. However, Kieślowski's intention was not to portray these ideals on a global level, but directly opposite, on a personal level,
"to look at freedom from a personal aspect, which is more universal. If you were to speak to, say, Bosnians or Croatians about their idea of political freedom, they'd contradict each other, whereas they'd probably have the same idea of personal freedom, or of love. There are so many things that separate people around the world today that one ought perhaps to look for factors that unite people ... just to state that such things exist." (The 'Three Colours' Trilogy)
Besides Kieślowski's collaboration with Piesiewicz, another important collaboration for the trilogy was with the composer Zbigniew Preisner, whose scores would directly help to tell the story of Blue and also play an important role in White and Red, in order to set the mood of the film, build the meaning and the structure of the films and the trilogy. The trilogy was a French-Polish-Swiss production, so Kieślowski decided to film the trilogy in three different locations: Blue - France, White - Poland, Red - Switzerland. Furthermore, Kieślowski premiered all three films in the major festivals: "Blue in September 1993 at Venice, White in February 1994 at Berlin and, finally, Red  in May 1994 at Cannes." (The 'Three Colours' Trilogy). Despite the complexity of the trilogy, Kieślowski created his 'symphony' quickly, from conception to completion it took about two and a half years. 

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