Rewatched Jan 30, 2012
Try describing the experience of watching a Krzysztof Kieslowski film—especially one of his Three Colors—without succumbing to the temptation to read the film authoritatively from your own point of view as though you were some cinematic mystic, prognosticating through your pen the way an oracle augers the future, objectively, clarified and certain. Good luck. Kieslowski’s Blue, White and Red have been built up and torn down, deified and deconstructed, ad infinitum. And yet, in spite of the intellectual crucible to which these films have been subjected since their release, it is only the scholarship surrounding them that seems threadbare and insufficient. The films themselves sail on, immaculate and unencumbered by the millstones of meaning that even the most laconic of viewers would like to saddle them with.
Kieslowski’s dramas have a paradoxical quality; they beg to be ‘understood’ while, simultaneously, they shrug off any and all attempts at cartography. The emotional complexity which distinguishes them seems tailor-made to be dealt with, its knots cry out to be untangled; the people and the scenarios depicted are thoroughly genuine, and their travails seem exotic yet eerily familiar. But, in the end he will not permit it – he’s left no skeleton key, and the resolution coalesces into an indefinite, ephemeral thing. You could work up quite a sweat trying to ‘get it,’ to understand it, to make sense of it, to reconcile it with who you are or with who you think you are, to know why it matters to know. And maybe that's the greatest strength of these films; they repeatedly coax me into empathizing on a colossal scale. It’s really no wonder that Kieslowski stepped aside afterwards. After these three masterpieces were completed what more could a man find to say about the beautiful, arid spaces that connect human beings to each other?
I won’t say that I like “Blue” the best, but I believe that I do. I won’t say that I like it best due to the fact that, out of the three films’ three lead actresses, Juliette Binoche is my favorite, but she is. I won’t say that I love Blue for its lush, indulgent visuals and its outrageously unorthodox use of non-diegetic sound, but I do. I won’t say any of those things, because claims of that sort are just arbitrary statements that assign value in subjective and nonreflexive ways. Anyone can make similar or contradictory assertions and feel secure behind them; they are largely unquantifiable. So instead, I will confine myself to this statement: The raw, subcutaneous emotion that surges relentlessly throughout this beautiful film will melt the screen off of your television – that is quantifiable. Verify it for yourself.