Friday, December 13, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Here's my version of a best of year list. Below are the top 10 films I saw in 2013. Some are new productions, others hi-def reissues of old favorites. It's amazing how some films just get better with age.
10. Turn Me On Dammit! (2011) ✭✭✭✭
Turn Me On Dammit! is a Norwegian teen sex comedy and I’ll give you a moment to absorb that idea. The film is set in a tiny town so remote it’s not just in the middle of nowhere, it’s on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Here we meet 15 year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm), her body under assault by raging hormones and her heart consumed with hunky young Artur (Matias Myren) who plays guitar in the church choir. After an awkward sexual interlude at a party, Alma is ostracized at school and given a comical nickname by the community. The film is rich with eccentric characters, charming quirkiness and that deadpan, subtle humor the Scandinavians do better than just about anybody. The script won Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival and director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen is clearly a talent to watch. Think Northern Exposure re-imagined by John Hughes.
Rust and Bone is at heart a love story, but don’t expect slow motion montages of a happy couple cavorting in a field of daisies. It’s a grim, tough guy sort of romance with street fights substituting for candlelight dinners and lovemaking presented as just another form of physical therapy. Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a thuggish former boxer who has fled Belgium with his young son Sam (Armand Verdure) for the sunnier climes of Antibes. His wife - who is never shown - has become involved with drug use and dealing, putting Sam’s welfare at great risk. Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) is a whale trainer at Marineland, where she dons a wetsuit every day and enthralls audiences with the acrobatic exploits of these magnificent beasts. The pair meet one night at a raucous bar where Ali works as a bouncer. When he helps Stephanie out of a potentially violent situation, Ali’s sexual desire is mistaken for gallantry. This white knight’s armor may be deeply tarnished, but in the modern rough and tumble world one can’t be too choosy about guardian angels.
8. Badlands (1973) on Blu-ray ✭✭✭✭ 1/2
1973’s Badlands marked the first feature film from writer/director Terrence Malick and it squarely put him on the path to his current cinematic sainthood. Over a forty year career and a scant six feature films — three more are on the way — Malick has established a well deserved mystique as the closest thing America has produced to a true European style auteur. Frankly, no one else is even close.
7. Lincoln (2012) ✭✭✭✭ 1/2
Daniel Day-Lewis’ manifestation is a performance for the ages. What George C. Scott did for Patton and Marlon Brando did for The Godfather, Day-Lewis does for Lincoln, and that may be understating his achievement. This Lincoln is not the heroic figure of historical sainthood, but a shy, introverted man who bore the crushing weight of his crumbling nation the same way he outmaneuvered his formidable political opposition, by forging wit, decency and intelligence into an irresistible force.
6. Postmen in the Mountains (1999) ✭✭✭✭ 1/2
Postmen in the Mountains is a film that outwardly seems as simple and straightforward as its title, but within its placid layers is a deceptive emotional depth. In this tale of transition, a middle-aged mail carrier (Rujun Ten), facing retirement due to declining health, prepares to hand over his route to his estranged 24 year old son (Ye Liu). The two men embark on a three day journey over the rugged mountains of Hunan province as the father shows his son the ropes. It ran the table at the 1999 Chinese Film Awards and was Japan’s top grossing film at the box office in 2001. It is a gentle, delicate film that deals with father-son relationships and generational change with bittersweet moments of humor and empathy. And despite the film’s exotic locale, viewers are sure to recognize some of the major passages of their own lives.
5. I Am Cuba (1964) ✭✭✭✭ 1/2
My goodness this film is everything it’s cracked up to be. I will be doing a long winded pedantic review eventually, but right now I’m too overcome by its brilliance to mutter anything worthwhile. Rumors are Criterion will release a blu-ray next year, and that will be a glorious day. In the meantime, I'll be thinking about this one…and the star rating may move up.
4. Wild Strawberries (1957) on Blu-ray ✭✭✭✭✭
Wild Strawberries is a stunning cinematic experience. Filled with mystical beauty and chewy philosophical constructs in a tidy, perfectly tailored ninety-two minute package, the film is a mandatory part of the syllabus for any serious cineaste. And even if you’ve experienced this recondite road movie in the distant past, it’s high time for a revisit thanks to Criterion’s sublime new blu-ray edition. With this disc, viewers will discover boundless new textures and detail, leaving that dreary 16mm print from college film class in the magical dust of Swedish high summer.
3. Amour (2012) ✭✭✭✭✭
There is a profound method to Haneke’s dry clinical approach. As the film progresses to the final act, audiences will find themselves as physically drained as Georges, and wholly sympathetic as his faculties and judgement reach a dangerous brink. In true Haneke fashion, Amour ultimately delivers its own shocking moments and disorienting aftermaths, and it does so with raw courage unfiltered by sentiment. No Amour is not a feel good popcorn movie. It’s a brilliantly guided journey worthy of admiration and a perfect embodiment of Bette Davis’ immortal phrase: “Getting old ain’t for sissies.”
2. Tokyo Story (1953) on Blu-ray ✭✭✭✭✭
Yasujirô Ozu’s Tokyo Story from 1953, now available in a superbly packaged Blu-ray edition from Criterion, is a film that subtly captures the dynamics of family life in ways that feel shockingly real. There are moments here of such immediacy and personal truth that it seems impossible for Tokyo Story to be a relic of a bygone age and culture. Yet, due to Ozu’s masterful – one could say otherworldly – powers of observation, this sixty year old glimpse into the everyday lives of the Hirayama family presents the human condition with a universality that still rings true in 2013.
1. Babette's Feast (1987) on Blu-ray ✭✭✭✭✭
Like all good fairy tales, Babette’s Feast has a moral. Actually it has several morals, some obvious, some buried in subtext. It’s an example of film as palimpsest; charming and engaging on its rustic surface, but laden with deep veins of meaning and nuggets of existential truth for those willing to unearth them. Along its symbolic, candlelit arc several facets of the human condition are wistfully addressed, from gnawing regret over past decisions to the true nature of Christianity to the ever-changing definition of spirituality as defined by good works.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
The leafy lanes and tidy clapboard houses of a Connecticut village hide a monstrous evil in The Stranger, Orson Welles’s flirtation with hired-gun hackery from 1946. Made a mere 5 years after Citizen Kane, The Stranger is a film notable mainly for its cynicism. To producer Sam Spiegal, who appears in the credits as S.P. Eagle, it was an attempt to cash in on the horrific revelations from the recently liberated Nazi death camps. To director/star Welles, it was a last chance at Hollywood redemption.
At the time, Welles was the classic cinema enfant terrible; a young creator of brilliant, critically acclaimed films that, just like today, were largely ignored by the public. Welles had quickly built a reputation in the industry as an arrogant egomaniac whose products, while peerless artistically, drove studios to the brink of insolvency. With the world, and the movie business, returning to a state of relative normalcy after WWII, Welles faced a career dilemma: profit or perish.
As a concept, The Stranger seemed a perfect match for the zeitgeist. Penned by Victor Trivas, a pacifist German filmmaker who spent the better part of two decades hiding from Nazis, the script reduced the horrors of the holocaust to a simple detective story; a popular and familiar genre to the audiences of 1946. On the surface, the story appeared a perfect match for Welles – the pride of Kenosha, Wisconsin – and his unique sensibilities: sunny Americana threatened by a shadowy foreign malevolence lurking in our midst. Welles was one of the first to see concentration camp documentary footage and was so deeply moved by the experience he enthusiastically signed on to the project. But there was the caveat that this film, unlike Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, was to have wide appeal and not a typical Mercury Theatre offering for those of eclectic, high brow taste.
Edward G. Robinson portrays Mr. Wilson, a government investigator and leader of an international group charged with bringing fascist war criminals to justice. He follows an escaped, low level S.S. functionary named Meinike (Konstatine Shayne) across the Atlantic in hopes of nabbing a much bigger prize: death camp architect Franz Kindler, conceiver and implementer of Hitler’s final solution, who has thus far eluded capture. Surprisingly, Meinike’s trail leads to the sleepy hamlet of Harper, Connecticut where it abruptly and mysteriously ends. Desperate for clues, Robinson poses as a visiting antiques dealer and begins to mingle with the local populace. He eventually meets a history professor named Rankin (Orson Welles), a recent hire at the Harper School for Boys and newly married to Mary Longstreet (Loretta Young), a product of one of Harper’s leading families. At first, Rankin seems above suspicion. But slowly Robinson begins to see through Rankin’s façade, and becomes convinced this tweedy, soft spoken school teacher is actually the fiendish Kindler in disguise.
Welles’s patented visual style drives the film in the early going, complete with low angle cameras, inky shadows and deep, ceilinged sets. Robinson’s establishing scene, a meeting with other Nazi hunters, features blocking nearly identical to Kane’s famous projection room sequence. In an inspired bit of visual cleverness, Welles has Robinson break his pipe in a fit of pique and the hastily repaired, taped-over smoking apparatus becomes an important visual identifier as the story progresses. Along a wooded trail, Welles has a secret meeting with one of the main characters, and the lengthy dialogue is covered in a single beautifully choreographed take. It was a technique Welles would work to ambitious perfection 12 years later in Touch of Evil, but here we see the genesis of his fascination with camera-subject ballet.
Welles was an underrated director of actors – every actor but himself – and here he assembles a nearly perfect cast of archetypes, ranging from elegant landed gentry to busy-body small town rubes. Loretta Young, given a truly difficult and thankless role, has to walk a tightrope between starry-eyed incredulity and abject cluelessness, but amazingly she pulls it off. Crusty vaudevillian Billy House, as soda fountain proprietor Mr. Potter, is a joy to watch as a dodgy know-it-all who keeps an eagle eye on the town’s business from his storefront window. And Robinson, known primarily for riveting interpretations of gangsters, is superb as a crusader driven by an unquenchable thirst for justice.
Among the actors, the only weak link is Welles. His turn as Rankin starts with interesting subtlety, evoking the whispered edges of veiled secrets. But, much like the film itself, his performance eventually teeters over the edge and onto a chilled platter of diced ham. As the cat-and-mouse game between Wilson and Rankin mercifully races to conclusion, the film loses its unique Wellesian visual luster and becomes just another noir thriller. A spooky clock tower, Harper’s civic landmark and prominently featured throughout the story, becomes both a deadly trap and a setting of Hitchcockian grandeur for the film’s baroque and inflated finale. When all is said and done, the audiences’ sense of relief appears to be shared by Welles himself, as bits of scenery dangle from his pearly bicuspids.
For Orson Welles, The Stranger accomplished its objectives; it entertained and it made money. In fact, it was the first Welles feature to turn a profit on its first run and it got an Oscar nomination for best screenplay in the process. Welles would survive to direct another day and eventually, after a few misfires, create such brilliant works as Touch of Evil and Chimes at Midnight. But despite his heroic attempts to elevate this melodramatic potboiler, Welles is out of his element here and it shows. Still, The Stranger is a must-see for Welles fans and completeists. And it’s a vivid reminder of just how challenging it was to find a script that actually deserved him.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
As conceived by Altman and writer Joan Tewksbury, everything about Nashville is larger than life. From its massive melange of roughly two dozen principle characters to its firmly tongue-in-cheek hillbilly anthems to its 160 minute running time, the film’s contours present a distinctly Americanized vision of Grand Opera. Nashville’s loosely spun web of plots and subplots, narrative motifs and leitmotifs, establish, develop and turn back on themselves like a slow motion kaleidoscope of post-Vietnam Americana. In Altman’s oeuvre, there are no such things as starring or supporting roles but rather a swirl of eccentric egalitarianism, with box office heroes sharing full screen time with below-the-line nobodies. This populist approach extends to the storytelling as well, as tales of the rich and famous fully commingle with the lives of lonely drifters and talentless wannabes.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Love is All You Need (2012) ✭1/2
The Deflowering of Eva van End (2012) ✭✭
Cheeky! (2000) ✭✭✭
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Lots of special gifts this month from TCM. There's a mini Bresson festival, several recent foreign films and of course, lot of holiday classics. Below are a few of my picks but much more is on offer. Click here for full schedule. All times Eastern.
A young priest taking over a parish tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.
BW-115 mins, TV-14,
|Diary of a Country Priest. Don't watch if you're depressed|
A police detective whose wife was killed by the mob teams with a scarred gangster's moll to bring down a powerful gangster.
BW-90 mins, TV-14, CC,
A junkie must face his true self to kick his drug addiction.
BW-119 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format
A small-town lawyer gets the case of a lifetime when a military man avenges an attack on his wife.
BW-161 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
A controversial presidential nomination threatens the careers of several prominent politicians.
BW-138 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
Joan of Arc's trial and execution are re-created from the original court records.
BW-64 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
|The Passion of Joan of Arc. Artsy baby!|
In this silent film, Joan of Arc braves the threat of torture to stand fast for her beliefs.
BW-82 mins, TV-PG,
Over the course of a school year students and teachers in a French village learn how to live together.
C-104 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
|To Be and To Have. A wonderful doc about education in rural France.|
A mystery man visits scenes from Russia's past in search of his own identity.
C-99 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
A university professor and an art director struggle through the collapse of their relationship.
C-98 mins, TV-MA, Letterbox Format
A widowed musician reluctantly takes on an apprentice for a musical tour of his native Colombia.
C-120 mins, TV-MA, Letterbox Format
|Shamelessly hilarious Aaltra|
Feuding farmers join forces when a defective tractor leaves them both paralyzed.
BW-90 mins, TV-MA, Letterbox Format
A veteran returns home to deal with family secrets and small-town scandals.
C-136 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
|Cinema Paradiso. Prepare to weep.|
A boy coming of age in WWII Italy develops a lifelong love affair with movies.
C-124 mins, TV-MA,
A filmmaker masquerades as a hobo to get in touch with the little people.
BW-91 mins, TV-G, CC,
A recovering alcoholic film director tries for a comeback in Rome.
C-107 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
A Los Angeles private eye unwittingly sets up an innocent man for murder, then joins his seductive widow to unearth the corruption behind the crime.
C-130 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format
Onetime college friends cope with the sexual revolution of the '60s.
C-98 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format
|The Producers. Everyone must see it at least once|
A Broadway producer decides to get rich by creating the biggest flop of his career.
C-90 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format
A newlywed couple's honeymoon is disrupted by their friends' marital problems.
BW-112 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
The lives of a donkey and the girl who named him intertwine.
BW-95 mins, TV-PG,
|Same for Meet Me in St. Louis|
Young love and childish fears highlight a year in the life of a turn-of-the-century family.
C-113 mins, TV-G, CC,
An emotionally stunted clerk retreats into his fantasies.
BW-99 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
A traveling salesman's music-inspired dreams lead to tragedy.
C-108 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format
An aging housewife seeks direction when she catches her husband in an affair.
C-137 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
A possessive son's efforts to keep his mother from remarrying threaten to destroy his family.
BW-88 mins, TV-PG, CC,
|The many splendors of Jane in Klute|
A small-town detective searches for a missing man linked to a high-priced prostitute.
C-114 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format
A neglected girl in rural France gets mixed up with a murderous poacher.
BW-81 mins, TV-14,
A young man finds escape from his working-class life training a pet falcon.
C-111 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
Two British teens and their friends bring "traditional" jazz to a small English town.
BW-78 mins, TV-G,
Thursday, November 28, 2013
My father passionately loved his family and his community, and he performed many kind and selfless acts during his long and happy life. One that speaks to the heart of his character happened about 15 years ago.
When I was a child in the 1960s, we had a sharecropper on our farm named James Traynham, who went by the nickname “Eppie”. He was a gentle soul and a very hard worker and some of my most cherished memories are of Eppie and my father, working side by side in the fields, laughing and joking as we went about our labors.
But Eppie was afflicted by alcoholism and that often got him into trouble. My father had to bail him out of jail a few times and intervene in Eppie’s abusive and sometimes violent family disputes. After a 14 hour day in the tobacco fields, I’m sure having to deal with Eppie’s problems wasn’t a lot of fun.
Other farmers used to ask my dad why he put up with Eppie and all his troubles. My dad would say, “Well, when he’s sober, he’s a real good man. If I don’t put up with him, who will?” In the early 1970s Eppie and my father parted ways, but the two men still shared a special bond of respect and my father often spoke of him with pity and affection.
My father remembered that Eppie was a veteran and therefore entitled to a proper gravestone. Working with the staff of a local funeral home, my father did the research, made the phone calls, and did all the paperwork required to get Eppie a headstone and a few months later one was placed on his humble resting site.
My father’s research revealed that Eppie had served in WWII as a truck driver in Burma. Located between India and China, in 1942 Burma was a mountainous country that had no roads, was covered in dense jungle and for much of the year received constant torrential rain. Military historians agree that duty in Burma was some of the most difficult and harrowing of the war. Yet, Eppie served his country and at the end of the war received an honorable discharge.
A few years after securing Eppie’s memorial, my father’s health began to fail and he was unable to do many of the things he enjoyed. But he always had the satisfaction of knowing he had done right by his old friend, even if no one else cared about him.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Colors trilogy is a work that's as mesmerizing today as it was on its initial release 20 years ago. It's ironic that the collection has achieved the timelessness of a true classic, for Three Colors was intended to capture the specific zeitgeist of a unique moment in European history. Conceived - by its financers, at least - as a cinematic way of manifesting the growing clamor for a unified Europe, Kieślowski was commissioned to make three films, each based on ideals symbolized by the colors of the French flag: blue for freedom, white for equality and red for friendship.
Kieślowski, in collaboration with long time writing partner Krzysztof Piesiewicz, then created scripts that were only tangentially related to these concepts, although a number of reviewers have tied themselves into knots attempting to draw the connections. In truth, the films reduce these doctrines into unrecognizable - but quite practical - applications in service of deeply personal narratives, substituting patriotism's bullhorn with the soft murmurs of quietly desperate souls. The films paint austere portraits of individualism, complete with hidden agendas, conspiratorial secrets and the miracles of personal reinvention, in stark contrast to the technocratic goal of unification.
Not only is the trilogy of a decidedly anti-collectivist mindset, each film offers a rich and rewarding stand-alone cinematic experience. Related only by the slimmest of narrative threads - a thread that actually seems quite jarring once it's finally revealed - Blue,White and Red employ different cinematographers, different actors and take place in a variety of European cities. While each film presents a variation in visual aesthetics, the mournful tones of composer Zbigniew Preisner give the pieces a vital kinship, and provide critical psychological linkage.
1993's Blue sets the benchmark for the entire enterprise, and in terms of feel is the most distinctly "French" offering of the series. Combining the poetic visuals of Godard with the hypnotic pacing of Rohmer, Blue often seems more like a vivid dream than conventional cinema. Juliette Binoche stars as a young woman who is the sole survivor of a road accident that killed her husband and daughter. The underpinnings of her life suddenly wiped away, the film's early reels create a dizzying sense of disorientation and confusion. As Binoche begins to slowly recover and rebuild, it becomes clear that her life is comprised of a number of mysterious complexities, and her meandering quest for resolution - or to avoid resolution, to be more precise - drives the rest of the film.
Blue is, among a number of things, an analysis of willing subjugation. Kieślowski cleverly celebrates the idea of freedom with a case study of a woman who has freedom thrust upon her, unleashing a series of complications and challenges. The film was tremendously well received in Europe, where it essentially ran the table at Venice, and it cemented Juliette Binoche's bona-fides as a burgeoning international star. Binoche's performance here is commanding and compelling, made all the stronger for her flourishes of introversion and vulnerability. But the supporting work of actor Benoit Regent as Olivier, an old family friend, is yet another of Blue's intriguing and delightful nuggets.
Regent would die a year later at the age of 41. While there are few details available on his death, his tragically short filmography includes some of the most interesting French productions of the 1980s and early 90s, and his screen time to haunting moment ratio is through the roof. In Tavernier's 'Round Midnight (1986), he supplied convincing real world context as Dexter Gordon's psychologist/confessor, and he practically carried Garrel's I Can no Longer Hear the Guitar (1991) on his back, delivering a poignantly riveting performance that survived the film's awkward lurches.
1994's White is the most conventionally constructed cinema of the set, with plot driven twists and turns that evoke Hitchcock and, by extension, Chabrol. A cherub-faced Polish immigrant named Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) finds his life in Paris has gone totally off the rails when he is sued for divorce by his pretty bride Dominique (Julie Delphy); a scheming social climber who has branded Karol a loser. The drunken, penniless Karol seeks refuge in the Metro, where a chance meeting with a mysterious countryman (Janusz Gajos) sparks a complex blueprint for revenge.
Those wary of minimal, European style character studies will likely find White the most entertaining of the series, as the unfolding of Karol's plan features plenty of comic relief and exploits Zamachowski's endearing nebbishness to the fullest. Equally impressive is Gajos as the dodgy mentor, whose student eventually outshines him in deviousness. Janusz Gajos is a superb talent, and is considered acting royalty in his native Poland, but remains underappreciated in the rest of the world. This reviewer highly recommends 2002's Tam i z powrotem, readily available in North America on DVD, for a further taste of his charismatic prowess.
The theme of equality does indeed figure prominently in White's surprising conclusion but, in typical Kieślowski fashion, the concept is presented as a stripped-bare deconstruction. Karol's scheme for revenge may work as planned, but whether it's successful is subject to debate. Kieślowski suggests that true equality is unachievable, indeed contrary to human nature. Even in the most perfect utopia - or snowy Warsaw for that matter- some folks are always more equal than others.
Kieślowski saves his best for last with Red (1994), a voyeuristic immersion into the lives of an eclectic group of Geneva residents. The film recalls Hitchcock’s Rear Window while presenting its own deeply personal evocations of alternate reality. Red is distinct in the series for an undercurrent of time shifting, in essence adding an additional dimension to its narrative and forging a trail through territory unexplored by the previous offerings. Irene Jacob, Kieślowski’s leading lady from the equally mystical The Double Life of Veronique (1991), stars as a fashion model of such ethereal beauty she seems to float through the air. A chance encounter with a runaway dog leads her to the door of a retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who spends his leisurely days listening to his neighbors’ conversations via an illegal wiretap.
Trintignant’s pursuit of God-like omniscience evolves to direct manipulation of Jacob’s unsatisfying romantic life, while the judge eventually offers himself for persecution in an act of self-sacrifice. Part prophet, part yenta, Trintignant’s character is packed with mystical layers, complete with allusions to Christianity, Navajo witchcraft and Hindu notions of transmigration. Jacob’s character completes the analogy, her angelic beauty forming a willing, if not totally aware, vessel for Trintignant’s web spinning and lever pulling, as he subtly engineers the invisible fabric of human events. The thematic payoff to the entire series is included in Red’s dénouement, and while it may seem anti-climactic at first glance, the trilogy’s conclusion raises important and intriguing questions, including speculation of the judge’s unseen involvement in the previous installments.
Nominated for three Oscars, Red was the best received of the series in North America and, with the director finally achieving the international recognition he deserved, Kieślowski’s future appeared bright and limitless. But shockingly, shortly after Red’s release, Kieślowski announced his retirement from filmmaking and retreated to a quiet life in Poland with his wife and daughter. Two years later, Kieślowski would die on the operating table during open heart surgery at the age of 54.
Denied another 20 years or so of the director’s output, Kieslowski’s early demise was a tragedy for lovers of artistic cinema. But his passing had the most profound effect on the career of Irene Jacob. While Binoche and - to a lesser degree - Delphy have gone on to artistic triumphs in other endeavors, Jacob has yet to find another collaborator with such recondite understanding of her unique gossamer. As evidenced by Red and The Double Life of Veronique, Jacob and Kieślowski formed one of the great director – muse partnerships, equal to Godard and Karina, or Scorsese and DeNiro. Sadly, Jacob’s post-Red filmography consists mainly of supporting roles in rather insignificant productions, but it’s no coincidence. To Kieślowski, the shimmering Jacob was a vital building material in his construction of worlds driven by memory and remorse. No one else, apparently, has any idea what to do with her.
It’s fair to say that Three Colors revived interest in Art House cinema at a time when established European directors were consumed with nostalgia and romance. Within the trilogy framework, Kieślowski managed to create three distinctly personal and thematically diverse films that neither depend nor intrude on each other. Yet, the works share enough commonalties of spirit to be forever linked in ways that seem infinitely organic and honest. While Kieślowski was taken from us way too soon, Three Colors serves as a fitting legacy that film lovers will never forget.