Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy

"I have said all I need to say on film," Krzysztof Kieslowski proclaimed after completing his "Three Colors" trilogy in 1994. Directors are prone to such sweeping statements, but his untimely 1996 death proved him right. These films stand as his final cinematic statements. Individually, Blue, White, and Red reflect the French flag and the ideals of the motto "liberty, equality, and fraternity" through a Kieslowski-an exploration of the human experience, but these are not hymns to patriotism or national identity. This trilogy reaches beyond national borders to become a portrait of the new, post-Soviet Europe, as well as a rumination on the mysteries of his beautiful leading ladies: Juliette Binoche (a grieving widow in the hushed Blue), Julie Delpy (a frustrated ex-wife in White, a comedy of capitalism and revenge), and Irène Jacob (a model in the warm, forgiving Red). The films stand on their own as individual experiences, with Blue the most intimate and poetic of the three, and Red the most complex and densely woven. But the subtlest of details weave through the trio and pull them into the same cinematic universe. They echo with doubles and disconnected relationships that dance around one another until Red's final scene pulls all three together into an experience greater than the sum of the parts. SEAN AXMAKER

Oct. 15-18, 2012

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