September 26, 2022

Krzysztof Kieslowski was an essential and influential polish film maker and writer. He is highly recognized for “Three Color Series” ,”The Decalogue TV Series” and “A Short Film About Love”. Krzysztof Kieslowski films were about social realism, mystic love and political drama. A great screenwriter, master in portraying unconventional stories and his strength is in layered realities, each that annotates the other according to an inexpressible model.

Let’s see Kieslowski’s 10 most powerful and dramatic feature films of all time.

1. A Short Film About Love (1988)

“A Short Film About Love” story is told through the lens of the binoculars from where 19-year-old Tomek (Olaf Lubaszenko), a shy Post Office worker who spies his opposite neighbor Magda (Grazyna Szapolowska), a very promiscuous woman.

He practically knows everything about her and this obsession gives him a return from the woman who thinks she can play with him just like she does with other guys but things can and will follow through some desperate and sad ways. His actions are quite different and he’ll always try to find a way to be near her and the way he does this approaches are quite odd, disturbing Magda’s peace by sending false notices or calling the gas company when she’s with another guy at her home.

What i loved about this film is how is its attempt(which i think is successful) at destroying this correlation between love and sex. The Krzystof Kieslowski is no random director, and although the shots themselves are nothing spectacular, the way the movie flows together is and the music used matches the tone perfectly. The acting is spectacular, the main two characters are really believable and you really feel them develop.

Art in its best form, “A Short Film About Love” is highly recommended to everyone who enjoys great cinema and philosophical stories. This movie really is gonna make you to have a opinion about it, it will prevail in your memory.

2. Three Colors: Red (1994)

“Three Colors: Red” story very basically follows a young woman named Valentine whose life is shown with its intersection with other people and events that are to shape her life, particularity, leading her to two important strangers in her future. Now, granted, the interactions of one’s daily life is nothing very extraordinary from a surface level but what makes this movie extraordinary is the way in which it takes the viewer from one seemingly random incident to the next and begins to connect them to reveal a larger puzzle of life, beyond any single person.

“Red” is the best of the three of Kieslowski’s “color films”It is much more complex than the other two although there are links among all the three films.This film is an artistic piece of work-very few films nowadays can claim such a description.There is much psychology,philosophy and symbolism throughout the film and there is a great sensitivity in presenting the plot. Kieslowski managed to draw a grand, subtle story about the solitude, misunderstanding, secrets and pain. Deep, dark personal pain of those who are lost and lonely. Brilliant film.

3. A Short Film About Killing (1988)

“A Short Film About Killing” plot about three persons whose lives have no connections with each other are presented to us. A taxi driver, a new lawyer and a young 21-year-old boy Jacek. One day Jacek decides to kill the taxi driver for an unknown reason. After the difficult murder he gets arrested and the new lawyer takes his case. Jacek gets sentenced to death and the lawyer is forced to witness the first death of his client.

This same pattern is shown to us in the first pictures we see: a dead rat in the gutter, a hung cat and a group of boys (the society) running away. Kieslowski was always interested in the coincidental events that can change the course of our lives.

It’s a charge against violence. Capital punishment is the most radical form of violence one can imagine. The film achieves to bond violence and capital punishment, and to resist capital punishment as a form of violence. It is a profound film about loneliness in us all and how small things can change the course of our lives.

If you want more than pulp movies then this philosophical discourse on the nature of life and death will leave you somehow enhanced and certainly more aware. Highly recommended.

4. The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

“The Double Life of Veronique” story tells about the two lives of Veronique and Veronicka reflect each other, but are only subconsciously aware of it, which is eerie in its very nature. Two people who have two entirely different lives, obviously destined to never really meet, but unexpectedly spot each other across a crowded court yard one day. The experience briefly hypnotically paralyzes them both as they stare in amazement at the sight of one another. A moment that appears to confirm for both woman what they’ve always felt, but could never bring themselves to believe until then.

The power of music in Kieslowski’s film is inevitable.The scenes are not significant by themselves,the impact of the ideas and images with the powerful music make the film special.Kieslowski well used colors and camera filters to create an ethereal atmosphere which was very helpful in creating the films sense. I think the music and Irene Jacob performance were the most outstanding pieces of the film.

The Double Life of Veronique remains one of the defining works of European cinema in the 90’s and is easily one of the greatest and most iconic films ever created by the late, great Kieslowski.

5. Blind Chance (1981)

In 1981 in the troubled Poland, when the father of the medical student Wietold Dlugosz (Boguslaw Linda) dies, he asks one year leave to the dean of the university to rethink his vocation to medicine. He decides to travel to Warsaw, but while running after the train in the station, three possible events happen.

In the first possibility, Witek reaches the train, meets his former sweetheart Czuszka (Boguslawa Pawelec) that belongs to an Anti-Communist underground movement and joins the Party after saving hostages of protesters in a building.

In the second possibility, Witek is caught by a guard in the station while running to catch the train and reacts, being sent to the court and sentenced to thirty days of community work.

On the third possibility, Witek does not reach the train and decides to return to the university and conclude the medicine course. The three serendipities do not bring happiness to Witek.

The movie examines the human condition and whether it is fate, God, ourselves or chance that creates the world. It asks the ancient philosophical question: “Who is responsible?” A truly awesome and thoughtful work of art which is highly recommended to everyone who loves movies, and to those who would like to learn more about an important historical period in a very interesting place.

6. Camera Buff (1979)

Camera Buff is a beautiful story about a factory worker Filip (Jerzy Stuhr); a man who, in his thirties, begins to see life anew through the view finder of a small gauge movie camera which he purchased for “two months salary,”  and which “pissed his wife off” to document his newborn daughter’s first few steps, the 8 mm camera is quickly realized as something more useful than just a device for making home-movies.

Krzystof Kieslowski directed one of the more interesting self-reflexive films in 1979, when he filmed Camera Buff, his second feature film, which runs an hour and fifty-two minutes. It is the one which made him a known commodity in the film world. It’s complex, well written, personal and altogether well done. The audience gets to experience the magic of cinema at the same time with Filip. He sees the enormous ability of influencing and witnessing events – the fascination of creation

7. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

In “Three Colors: Blue”, Juliette Binoche stars as Julie Vignon, the wife of a famous composer who dies in a car crash, along with their daughter, throwing her entire life into total emotional chaos. She responds by trying to erase her memories of her lost past. She sells all of her possessions, moves to a new place, and goes back to her maiden name. Throughout this time, she immerses herself in her sadness, just like that astonishingly blue swimming pool.

This is not only very effective, but it’s also very respectful of the actors and of the audience. I have never, ever had the pleasure of a film experience like this before. Although the film falls apart a little at the end, rushing where it shouldn’t and turning slightly derivative of Wings of Desire, and although it’s probably not a movie I’d watch twice since half its impact is based on not knowing what will happen next, it is a very good film and definitely worth watching just for this amazing experience of hearing music and sound handled so expertly and with such dignity.

8. Three Colors: White (1994)

“Three Colors: White”, Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) is a Polish guy and the movie starts with his divorce from Dominique (Julie Delpy). She wants to leave him because he is not able to perform sexually since they have married. She also doesn’t love him anymore, so she says. After Karol has tried one more time to get her back, without succeeding, he goes back to Poland with the help of a guy named Mikolaj (Janusz Gajos). In Poland he tries to make some good money and during all this he has a plan in the back of his head.

The visualization of the film is stunning with Kieslowski – as he had done with Blue and Red – utilizing the color of the title to give us a film that is both cold and neutral. Blue’s theme of Liberty, the first word of France’s motto, is an individual’s principle, while White’s theme of Equality, the French motto’s second word, requires at least two people. The central quest for liberty is personal; the struggle for equality is fundamentally social. White is the most conventional of the three Color films.

9. No End (1985)

“No End” plot’s about a woman (Ula) who’s husband suddenly dies, who was a lawyer of an opposition activist. After his death Ula realizes how much he meant to her and begins to love him more and more. The activist needs another lawyer and Ula recommends an older more experienced lawyer, who has a much more calm approach. While the trial goes on Ula tries to get rid of the ghost of her husband. She tries hypnosis, sex and oblivion but in the end is forced to commit a suicide is the only way out.

A overwhelming thing in “No End” is the fact that Ula must commit a suicide. There is no other way out of the system, there is no end for the yearning of love and peace. Killing herself and leaving her young boy alone is the only way for her to live, to have peace and to get rid of the ghost. The last shot where she walks among her husband is very paradoxical.

As is the film so is the title quite complex and it has many purposes. I think the title works for all of the three different parts. There is “No End” for the martial law and oppression; the activist is unable to fight against the Government. Nor is there end for the being of man and the love of the woman. There is No End in sight.

10. The Scar (1976)

“The Scar” is a story about a corporation which decides to build a new factory in spite of ecology, or the people living in the area. They choose a man with a family to lead the project. Quickly he reveals to be a man who takes responsibility and tries to finish the project with honor. He soon starts to see the flaws of the project, where moral is only one defect. In his journey through Machiavellist politics he finds making a change incredibly difficult.

A brave film which takes its time to settle nicely in viewers’ minds.It starts in a highly official manner and later develops into a family tragedy.In Scar the best thing to watch is the manner in which all the elements of human weaknesses are portrayed.Helpless characters not being able to come out of their shell is an accepted trait of Kieslowski’s films and it is very much evident in The Scar too.

I cannot recommend the movie to anyone who tend to fall asleep in slow dramas, but those who like other Kieslowski films or documentaries of socialism, this is an interesting flick.

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