When I used to read the "New Yorker" at work I would read the film listings and saw rave reviews for a retrospective of Kieslowski films ahead of the release of his "new" one at the time, "The Double Life of Veronique". There was only one "art house" here at the time and with the hours I worked, getting there was pretty much impossible. Luckily, it wasn't all that long after I noticed on Cinemax that "Veronique" was playing. I recorded it, caught up with it not so long after and was completely spellbound. The film; the story; the music; the cinematography...a perfect magical package!
When I discovered a local video rental that handled foreign and early cinema, I was in heaven. I started exploring some of Krzysztof's earlier works. The brothers that ran it told me that had just ordered "The Decalog" and that I really needed to watch it. When it came in, 5 volumes of two pieces each, they were constantly out and I only got one tape watched before they lost their lease on the theatre they were running. Thankfully, they've moved up and onwards and now run the best "arthouses" in Kansas City, but the video club never began again.
In the meantime I acquired DVD's of the film trilogy he did; "Three Colors: Blue", "Three Colors: White" and "Three Colors: Red"
So when my younger son gave us a Netflix subscription a year ago last Christmas I was delighted to find a lot of the old silent cinema I'd been unable to find locally, along with Kieslowski's ouevre and so many others. (My queue is 384 movies at this point.)
These last few weeks I've been going through "The Decalog", in order 1-10 and find myself captivated and replaying them in my mind while doing other things. Loosely fit to the "10 Commandments", I got to "Decalog 8" last night and have no doubt that I will be haunted by Kieslowski's poignant "ethical hell" for the rest of my life...
Knowing Dottie would be wanting to come to bed soon (I was watching in our bedroom), I watched some of the extra features on the disc. One was "100 Questions", a group of film writers in an interview with him.
Several times the great man insists that he doesn't believe in the power of cinema to change people or society; that if people see a film and "choose to reflect" on it and then change, that is their choice.
I'd like to think he left them no choice but to reflect...
If you don't mind subtitles, these are all wonderful; both the movies I mentioned and "The Decalog" as well!
As an aside; I've never heard film music more wonderful than the scores by Zbigniew Preisner! I first fell in love with the score he wrote for "Veronique"; it has echoed in my soul since the first time I heard it...
Dottie goes in for surgery in the morning then she's on sick leave for at least 6 weeks, during which I'll be going back to work to keep us "afloat". I don't know how much time I'll have here, given her "anti-blogging" stance, but will post an occasional update while she's in the shower or something.
May the week and the ensuing weeks be kind to each of you!