Saturday, April 23, 2005

O Film, What art thou!

Saw Blue and White (directed by Kieslowski). There are supposed to be master-works (as a part of a Trilogy including Red) from the 'auteur', a must watch for cinema-lovers, dicussed and argued by ardent students of cinema world-wide. Typical French films, where the director finds meaning and poetry even in the curve of the coffee cup (here Kieslowski plays with shadows on a coffee cup).

It surely would have gotten obtuse and senseless, had I not seen both of them, with commentary on. The audio commentary was by one of Kieslowski's writers (not of these films though) and it was with great passion and love for Kieslowski's work that she spoke. The voice gently directed us to look for the director's idiosyncracies, raise some questions, gave some explanations and some fantastic trivia.

Blue is about loss of family and how Julie (played superbly by Juliet Binoche) copes with the tragic loss. White is about equality as in getting revenge. It was a weird love-story, where the divorced couple do nasty things to each other (in Kieslowskian's discreet manner), but at the end of it, they know, that they still love each other.

In both the films, everything is muted and pared down to its bare minimum. There is no superfluous background score (though Blue is about a composer duo), no over-the top sets, no hyper-active camera work, no unnecessary (but only for the director) dialogues. Even when Julie (in Blue) finally grieves at the end of the movie, there's just a single tear drop. There is a real thin line in not trying to say things explicitly but still to convey te gist, without losing the audience. I am not a huge student of cinema (terrific cinema blog - George), so I don't know if I would have liked the movie better without the accomplished writer telling me what to look for. She herself says, that it has taken her many viewing to understand some of the key aspects of the film.
So, the question is do we indulge such movie makers. Kill-Bill though vastly different in its format and style, and which btw, I enjoyed without knowing much associated trivia, is still a movie that makes heavy demands on the viewer to know the origins, the inspirations behind many aspects of the movie.

Answer (for me at least) would be of course yes. There are enough movies out there trying to entertain (saw Lucky as well yesterday - give me French film WITHOUT subtitles anyday). Some people out there make movies to educate (ahem!). Some amongst them may be phony intellectuals, saying 'Look, if you were smart, you would understand'. But what the heck. If you like the movie, good enough. If you don't, watch out for new one this Friday.
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