Trois Coleurs: Bleu

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The first of a series of three films thematically connected by color and by the meanings of those colors as represented in the French flag stars Juliette Binoche as ayoung woman who loses her husband and her daughter in a car crash. The rest of the film builds on this simple premise, peeling away layers of character and layers of meaning.

Juliette Binoches seeks the liberty that blue represents. But the liberty she seeks is not mere political or economic liberty. She seeks the liberty to live life without really living it--to do life as a walk-on, unattached to anyone or anything. Typical of her approach, "Now I have only one thing left to do: nothing. I don't want any belongings, any memories. No friends, no love. Those are all traps." And yes, they are traps--tender traps, the traps that make us human, as Juliette discovers in the course of the film.

The film presents another kind of liberty as well, a kind of counterpoint to the main theme (which is appropriate because Juliette's husband is hailed all over Europe as one of its finest composers). Ultimately, Juliette discovers the liberty that may only come when the truth is told all around. Her life has been a continual hiding from one truth and another, but as the movie unfolds, she begins to see and understand the truth. And the truth really does set her free from her misconceptions about freedom and how to live.

This is a hard film, there is a new cinematic language in parts. There are about four moments in the film when there is a cut to black that then cuts to a continuation of the same scene. These scenes are shot through with the portentous music that is being composed for the celebration of the Unification of Europe. You know they are meaningful, and yet their meaning is not necessarily what you think until you have seen all of them.

This is a film I will have to rewatch, but only after I have seen the other two. White or Blancis next in order, but I already have Red or Rouge in my possession so that will probably be next. While the films are called a trilogy, they share no characters and don't even occur in the same country.

The director Krzysztof Kieslowski died in 1996 leaving these three films as his final work. And it is hard to imagine how anything before might have compared with the wonder of this one. I can't wait to see the other two.

Highly Recommended--ADULTS ONLY, there are several scenes that would not be appropriate for any child of any age.

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I love Kieslowski's work. If you haven't watched it already, I would actually recommend watching Red last out of the three in this trilogy. It would kind of ruin it a bit for me to tell you why exactly. :) I'll just say there's something you'll catch if you've seen Blue and White first.

If you like the Three Colors trilogy, you might also enjoy Kieslowski's Decalogue -- a series of short films he did for Polish TV that are loosely based on the 10 Commandments. You can rent it via Netflix, much to my delight. I had spent years looking for a video store that carried it and was thrilled when I finally found it at Netflix.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 30, 2006 9:36 PM.

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