Derik Badman's Journal

2020-05-24 10:54

Watched Kieslowski's Blue yesterday with a young Juliette Binoche (seeing lots of her movies lately). I saw this one many many years ago when I was in college and spent a lot of time renting a large number of the (not that numerous) videos in the "foreign" section of the local Hollywood Video. I've retained a good view of it since then, but actually found it only average with this viewing. Kieslowski is great with using sound and color as part of this narratives, but I found this story about a woman whose husband and child die in a car crash rather... linear and too simple. He is also good at adding small symbolic elements to his movies, but sometimes they seem too unclear. For instance, the woman finds a mouse and its babies in the pantry of her apartment and is pretty freaked out, then talks to her aging (and demented (as in having dementia... is that how you'd say that?)) mother to be reminded she was afraid of mice when she was younger. Then she borrows a neighbor's cat to put in her apartment. I'm just not clear on the purpose of that subplot. Some of them are just mysterious, like a man she always sees on the street playing a recorder. He seems to be playing music by her dead husband (who was a composer). At one point she finds him sleeping on the street. At another time her friend notices that he is gone but he forgot his recorder. Another time we see him getting out of a fancy car with a woman inside. When the protagonist asks him about his music he just says he makes it up. It's all a bit strange, and feels like something that has a meaning I am just not getting.

I continued the trilogy with White this morning, which I thought I had seen, but clearly, if I did, I had absolutely no recollection of it. It was even less satisfying. The main part of the movie is slow and then suddenly the protagonist if framing his wife for his own death (very unclear how that actually works), and somehow he is in the prison yard where she is being held. It got into this weird thriller plot at the end but without any of the elements you might expect from such and leaves logic behind. Alas. I guess I'll still watch Red next, though now I'm maintaining some skepticism. I was quite moved by Kieslowski's The Double Life of Veronique when I rewatched it recently, so it's disappointing to not feel the same with these.