The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

the last time i saw this film, i was crumpled up on a pull-out couch in an airbnb in kraków. the apartment was on the top floor of this old building that was probably built during the soviet union, if not before, and to reach the top fourth floor, my friend and i had to climb several flights of a spiral staircase. the walls of the staircase were this sickly turquoise color. the lights on the staircase were on a timer for some reason and automatically shut off every 30 seconds, leaving us stranded and confused and dizzy in complete darkness, fumbling around for the closest switch on the next floor with our phone flashlights blinding each other. i don't know if i love kieślowski so much because of how much i love kraków and because of my desire to feel more connected to my polish heritage, or if those few days i spent in kraków two years ago merely made me feel more immersed in the feeling of his films, especially the ones set in poland (someday i will really probe my love for this filmmaker in a Real Way but not today). i do know that i love how he paints disorientation and inexplicable raw emotion, and how he is unafraid to make the audience sit and listen to a piece of music (or even a sound collage?? i love that tape scene), and how he manages to interrogate the tensions between western europe and the soviet union in this film amidst all this feeling. either way i am thinking about how much i miss kraków tonight.

(yes rewatching this movie was prompted by how nostalgic for soviet architecture the hbo chernobyl miniseries has made me. idk why that was my reaction to the first 3 episodes of that show but here we are watching a kieślowski again so whatever.)

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