Saturday, September 20, 2008

THREE COLORS: BLUE (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1993, France) Julie’s heart beats with a rapid cadence: music is her lifeblood. Now broken in body and spirit, she tries to deafen the angelic harmonies and escape, to submerge herself into a new life and erase her past. Julie’s husband and young daughter are killed in a car crash and she must face her life alone. She tries suicide but spits her life back into the palm of her hand. But there’s a discordant secret here: her husband was a world famous musician but was Julie his muse…or minstrel? She begins a new life by selling her property and destroying an unfinished composition, written in blue pencil. She keeps only one personal belonging: her child’s blue chandelier, a crystalline connection to her past. Kieslowski uses blue to represent her pulse, the rhythm that pumps blood through her veins, and this color flashes when she becomes overwhelmed by its score: it becomes ubiquitous, inescapable. As Julie makes new friends and tries to develop a new personality, to become another person, she is still confronted with the past. She discovers that Olivier, a friend and former lover, is working on the music she thought destroyed and that her husband had a mistress. Though filled with sadness, she doesn’t find it in her heart to hate Sandrine who is pregnant with his child. She also begins to work on the composition once again but there’s a catch: if she writes it, her husband’s name will be forever tarnished because the truth will be known. So she helps Olivier finish the piece. Kieslowski lets the camera embrace Julie; he lets the image express deep feelings that are limited by words. He often fades to black when the music overwhelms her, like the world has disappeared or become insubstantial. Blue is a cold color like Julie’s desire for freedom: from her past, the world, herself. She can’t help but touch many lives and affect those around her and I think this is her epiphany. Though some wounds are healed, I can’t help but think of Julie as slave to her own talent, repressed by the men around her, unable to sing with her true voice…smothered and alone. (A+)

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