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Three Colors: Blue (1993)
Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski

The wife of a famous composer survives a car accident that kills her husband and daughter. Now alone, she shakes off her old identity and explores her newfound freedom but finds that she is unbreakably bound to other humans, including her husband’s mistress, whose existence she never suspected.

Three Colors: Blue (1993)

Coloured Noir

No people are more culturally distinct from their neighbors than the Polish. They know something of pain, and they have a stronger vision of beauty than anyone — one which extends to even pain having beauty. And not just any notion of beauty, but a sublime beauty.

The most important development in film in 50 years was the development of noir. True noir takes the direction of the story away from the writer, away from anything that makes sense, and places the story as it unfolds in the hands of a capricious fate. It added another layer to the folding of narrative, one above the layer of the viewer and author and two above that of the movie.

But noir is black, or was. With these films, our genius explores what colored noir would be like… what a world would be like under an ineffable drive to recover the past. Parallel pasts, hers and his. Other films in the trilogy dealt with tougher challenges: Red as parallel presents; White as parallel futures.

That business about the French flag is no more a skeleton for these than the old woman recycling glass. I’m astonished that anyone would believe that.

So this is colored noir, and necessarily beautiful — in fact part of the pain is the entanglement with the sublime. This could be the most beautiful film ever made. All in the eye which frames the thing.

Binoche understands that she is not inventing a character, but a representative of life — someone who blends into the motion of the film. That whole motion makes the whole world a woman.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.


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