Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Films I Love #27: Three Colors: Blue (Kryzysztof Kieslowski, 1993)
Blue, the first film in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy, is a gorgeous, understated film about the grief of a young woman, Julie (Juliette Binoche), after losing her husband and daughter in a car accident. It's a tender, quiet, meditative film, chronicling Julie's withdrawal from, and subsequent reemergence into, the world. The film is richly sensual, tracing the ways in which the sheer physicality of life draws Julie slowly, inexorably out of her introspective despair. In the devastating absence of those things that had previously given her life its meaning, Julie finds comfort and then a new kind of meaning in the sensual experience of the world, in the simple enjoyment of ice cream and coffee, in night-time swims at a pool of an unearthly deep blue, in the feel of golden sunshine warming her face on a nice day. Kieslowski experiences these things with Julie, luxuriating in the texture of coffee soaking up into a sugar cube or the crystalline blue of the wind chime ornament hanging in her room. It is a haunting, gentle film, driven as much by moods (and emotive classical music) as by incidents. Its plot meanders casually in the background, affecting Julie in quiet ways but never disturbing the film's surface calm.