Krzysztof Kieślowski

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Zazou dans le Metro
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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#101 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:52 pm

Lucid Dreams ed Paul Coates FlicksBooks 1999

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Galen Young
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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#102 Post by Galen Young » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:37 pm

A few more books I can recommend for the list:

Decalogue: The Ten Commandments, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz (Faber & Faber)(foreward by Stanley Kubrick)
La Double vie de Véronique, au cœur de Kieslowski, Alain Martin, Caroline Cottier (IrenKa)
The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Marek Haltof (Wallflower Press)
Memory and Survival: The French Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Emma Wilson (Legenda)
After Kieslowski: The Legacy of Krzysztof Kieslowski, ed.Steven Woodward (Wayne State University Press)
Le cinéma et moi, Krzysztof Kieslowski (Noir sur Blanc)
Le Hasard et autres textes, Krzysztof Kieslowski (Actes Sud)

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James Mills
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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#103 Post by James Mills » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:35 pm

Thanks for the help, guys. Krzysztof would be proud ;)

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hearthesilence
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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#104 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:29 am

This was in the NYTimes today:
“10 Commandments,” a 10-episode series being produced for the Tribune Company’s WGN America. In that, film directors like Lee Daniels, Madonna, Ryan Coogler and Wes Craven might each oversee an episode based on one of the commandments handed to Moses.
Very Hollywood - taking the premise of a great film and remaking it into a crass shit-show.

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domino harvey
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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#105 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:50 am

You know how every omnibus project like this just mentions the best directors involved? Imagine how bad this actually is with those four being your selling point for quality!

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knives
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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#106 Post by knives » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:35 am

Maybe those are just the most famous, I hope. Though it would be amusing if they were to do all of the other commandments.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#107 Post by MichaelB » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:39 am

Kieślowski's original plan was for a different director to helm each episode, but then he decided to take on the lot himself.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieślowski

#108 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:42 pm

Blind Chance restored: http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/article/60568.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#109 Post by djproject » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:43 pm

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A prayer for something better, a prayer for something better.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#110 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:27 am

I've just received the two-disc DVD set Kieślowski: Documentarist, produced by WFDiF in Poland, and am delighted to confirm that it was well worth the purchase even beyond the specific reasons I had to get it (namely, decent copies of Workers '71 and Before the Rally, which I'd previously only seen as fuzzy low-res MP4s, and any copy at all of I Don't Know, one of the few Kieślowski titles to elude me so completely that I couldn't even track down an unsubtitled copy).

First of all, the package is fully bilingual in Polish and English, including the booklet. Secondly, on the evidence of disc one, all of these are fresh transfers - I did side-by-side comparisons with my older copies of From the City of Łódź, I Was a Soldier, Factory, Refrain, Bricklayer and X-Ray and in all cases the new edition was unquestionably superior. The four black-and-white films were noticeably contrastier before, and the colour films grainier - so I suspect they may have gone back to original negs this time round (this is highly plausible given that WFDiF made the films in the first place). There's a reference to "restoration" at the back of the booklet, but it doesn't go into details, except to confirm that cinematographer Jacek Petrycki and sound recordist Michał Żarnecki were involved.

Anyway, this is what's in the package:

Disc 1

From the City of Łódź (Z miasta Łodzi, 1969)
I Was a Soldier (Byłem żołnierzem, 1970
Factory (Fabryka, 1970)
Before the Rally (Przed rajdem, 1971)
Workers 1971: Nothing About Us Without Us (Robotnicy 1971: Nic o nas bez nas, 1971)
Refrain (Refren, 1972)
Bricklayer (Murarz, 1973)
X-Ray (Prześwietlenie, 1974)

DVD 2

Curriculum Vitae (Życiorys, 1975)
Hospital (Szpital, 1976)
Clapperboard (Klaps, 1976)
I Don't Know (Nie wiem, 1976)
From a Night Porter's Point of View (Z punktu widzenia nocnego portiera, 1977)
Seven Women of Different Ages (Siedem kobiet w różnym wieku, 1978)
Station (Dworzec, 1980)
Talking Heads (Gadające głowy, 1980)

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski - KIEŚLOWSKI - DOCUMENTALISTA

#111 Post by mas114 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:00 pm

Hi,

Where can you purchase this DVD set? I don't see it on the website, and I looked on BluDVD.pl and don't see it htere. Any info would be most appreciated.
Thanks,

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MichaelB
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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#112 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:27 pm

Most Polish retailers seem to have it - Empik, Punkt44, etc.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#113 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:07 pm

I got mine from Empik 20 euros shipped by courier. Merlin seem to have become Walmart in recent times

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#114 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:51 pm

I deliberately didn't mention Merlin!

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#115 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:36 pm

I'll miss that tank-proof packaging!

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#116 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:39 pm

Empik's not too bad, but Punkt44 left a bit to be desired.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#117 Post by mas114 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:39 pm

Thanks for the info!!

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#118 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:58 pm

I've just updated my Kieślowski DVD/BD list to include the Criterion and Arrow Academy editions of Dekalog and the new WFDiF documentary set.

The old PWA documentary set had an excellent innings, but is now completely redundant - all but one of its titles is duplicated in a superior transfer on the WFDiF set, and First Love is included in Arrow Academy's Dekalog and Other Television Works, with more comprehensive and idiomatic subtitles.

The WFDiF box has filled three important gaps: I'm not aware of any previous commercial releases of Before the Rally, Workers 1971 and I Don't Know. The Arrow box performed a similar function with regard to the TV work, premiering Pedestrian Subway and A Short Working Day (both in HD) and presenting Personnel and The Calm with English subtitles for the first time. The latter two badly need restoration, but at least they're out there now.

Also, someone's uploaded Kieślowski's mining recruitment and safety films from 1972 - Between Wrocław and Zielona Gora and The Principles of Safety and Hygiene in a Copper Mine. There are no subtitles (although you get the general gist very easily), and the prints have clearly seen better days, but at least they're out there in some form. (Kieślowski dismissed them utterly as rent-paying chores: essentially, they're the exact equivalent of The Seafarers in Stanley Kubrick's output.)

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#119 Post by dadaistnun » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:00 pm

Thank you, Michael, for bringing this release to the forum's attention. That Vimeo trailer alone looks wonderful compared to the PWA set (which I had no major complaints about anyway). I've ordered mine from Empik and can't wait to check it out.

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Krzysztof Kieslowski

#120 Post by MichaelB » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:46 am

Unlike my recent Jean-Pierre Melville blowout, I won't be posting all my Krzysztof Kieślowski reviews in one go, for the simple reason that most haven't been written yet - but since I now own pretty much his entire output (I think the only holdouts are in the very low single figures, and all decidedly minor work), I thought it might be quite fun to work my way through them chronologically.

So, without further ado...

Tram (Tramwaj, 1966)

Made as a directing exercise at the Łódź Film School, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s first completed film (or at least I’m not aware of any earlier ones) is, like Roman Polański’s initial film-school projects Murder and Teethful Smile, completely silent - presumably the pedagogical aim was to demonstrate a mastery of the art of purely visual narration. As with a lot of juvenilia, it’s tempting to read too much into this - it’s just about possible to discern vague hints of A Short Film About Love (made 22 years later) in this story of a brief encounter between a young man (Jerzy Braszka) and a young woman (Maria Janiec) on a late-night tram, but it’s nowhere near as distinctively ‘Kieślowskian’ as Polański’s film-school shorts are unmistakably ‘Polańskian’: any halfway competent director could have made something very similar.

At this stage in his career, Kieślowski was strongly influenced by the early Czechoslovak New Wave, especially the films of Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel and Ivan Passer (whose Intimate Lighting, made the previous year, later turned up in Kieślowski’s Sight & Sound top ten), and it’s easy to make the connection. Kieślowski’s unnamed protagonist is as shy and hesitant as his Czech counterparts, seemingly worried about both official and social rules (he fails to connect with anyone at a party, and conscientiously punches out multiple holes in his ticket after catching an inspector’s eye), and consequently completely unable to make any kind of move when the attractive young woman catches his gaze and smiles. Throughout much of their brief “relationship”, they’re separated by panes of glass both inside and outside the tram, and he only dares get close to her when she falls asleep - but can’t or won’t go any further until it’s much too late.

The whole thing is here, and it doesn’t need subtitles.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#121 Post by swo17 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:17 am

Please do keep sharing as they're ready.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#122 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:12 am

Office (Urząd, 1966)

If The Tram was largely anonymous, Kieślowski’s second film-school short is far more distinctive, clearly anticipating his great 1970s documentaries not only in its sardonic study of Polish bureaucracy in action but also its telegrammatic title - he’d go on to make Factory (Fabryka, 1970), Hospital (Szpital, 1976) and Railway Station (Dworzec, 1980) in a very similar vein.

There’s a soundtrack this time, but no context-setting narration - instead, we’re thrown right into the mélêe that comprises what is presumably a typical social security office, as various elderly people queue up to either receive or be denied their pensions by briskly efficient and seemingly heartless young women who are, of course, only doing their jobs. One particular exchange sums up their role as anonymous state lackeys, when the official calmly says “The Court pronounced in your favour, but we appealed to the Social Services Tribunal, which overruled the Court and your pension was stopped” - this last accompanying close-ups of sugar being added to tea, as though both tasks were equally routine. In fact, we see considerably more of the tools of the officials’ trade - pencils, bulging folders - than we do of their faces, which we can assume are far less interesting than the lined and careworn faces of their clients, marking out a lifetime of toil that clearly doesn’t register unless it’s accompanied by stamped and countersigned evidence.

At the start, the film appears completely random and unstructured, the snippets of conversation usually out of sync with the images, but Kieślowski’s method gradually comes into focus, culminating in an extraordinary montage of faces and files in which the repeated phrase “what have you done all your life?” becomes not so much a routine bureaucratic query as a full-on existential challenge with more than mildly Kafkaesque overtones.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#123 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:54 pm

Concert of Requests (Koncert życzeń, 1967)

Kieślowski’s third film-school piece opens in a very similar fashion to his first, The Tram, in which a young man (whose glasses and vaguely owlish expression lend him a faint resemblance to Kieślowski himself) wanders away from a lively social gathering beside a coach (alfresco this time), presumably in search of something more meaningful that he never actually finds. He ends up spying on a couple taking down a tent, and the film thereafter focuses on them.

It’s clear from their body language as well as their actual conversation that all is not well - they refuse to help each other perform even clearly essential tasks, and when she affectionately brushes his hair after he has precisely dictated how she should wear hers, he deliberately musses it up as soon as her back is turned. In other words: she’s his property, not vice versa, an attitude reinforced by his lackadaisical attitude towards the subsequent loss of their tent, even after he hears that her ID card was rolled up in the bundle.These tensions (somewhat reminiscent of those between the central couple in Polański’s Knife in the Water) underpin the film’s major set-piece, where they ride back to try to find the bundle, discover that it’s been snapped up in the meantime by the rowdy coach trippers, who first demand a reward for its return, and when money isn’t forthcoming they suggest borrowing the young woman instead. Her reaction to this proposal isn’t quite what one might expect... or is it?

Running half as long again as both its predecessors combined, this was clearly Kieślowski’s most ambitious project to date, and while some of it is a tad clunky (it’s a film-school project at base), his uncanny ability to encapsulate complex emotional situations in deceptively simple images can clearly be seen in embryonic form here, whether it’s the empty bottles floating in the lake, the man cycling next to a heavily pregnant cow, or the bespectacled man seen at the start, the only witness besides the viewer to more or less everything that transpires, but who is sufficiently alienated from both groups to be unable to be any more than that. (Is he the ancestor of the recurring “witness” in the Dekalog cycle? Very possibly).

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Krzysztof Kieslowski

#124 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:38 pm

The Photograph (Zdjęcie, 1968)

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s first professional film was commissioned by Telewizja Polska before he’d finished his graduation film. As the title suggests, it’s about a photograph, specifically an image of two boys dressed as soldiers and holding makeshift guns, both beaming for the camera. It was taken in the Praga district of Warsaw by Polish Army photographer Józef Rybicki at the very end of World War II, and, when exhibited, people naturally wanted to know more.

Rybicki is able to pinpoint the date and location and vividly describes the context, illustrated by his other photographs of the day, which help identify the specific building in front of which the boys stood. Kieślowski himself then appears on camera as the filmmaker-detective, revisiting the location and interviewing people (at one point somewhat peremptorily turning off the tap that an elderly woman is using to fill a bucket, since it’s interfering with the sound) to try to track down anyone who lived there at the time - and when Kieślowski finds such people, it becomes clear that tracking down the boys is of less immediate interest than capturing memories of living in Warsaw during the 1944 Uprising (only 24 years earlier), often using other details in the photograph as a jumping-off point, although he does eventually establish the boys’ identity: they’re the brothers Jerzy and Tadeusz Janczewski. But how to find them? After much further detective work, and a detour to a small village to which the Janczewskis moved in the late 1940s, Kieślowski tracks them down to another part of Warsaw via one of their wives, and belatedly learns several crucial but hitherto invisible details behind the picture - which has now become a weirdly potent totem of a life they’ve long since left behind.

Perhaps because the film was long believed lost (it finally resurfaced more than a decade after his death), Kieślowski didn’t mention it in the interviews that he gave for Kieślowski on Kieślowski, the closest thing that we have to an autobiography, but it’s presumably safe to speculate that he had been thinking hard about the documentary-maker’s perennial dilemma - how to get as close as possible to the truth of a particular subject. Kieślowski’s method here is to make it clear that he’s making a film, by not merely showing himself on a regular basis but also his camera operator and sound recordist. The interviews may well have been staged - it’s impossible to tell from the evidence - but the visibility of the film crew and the casual, quasi-snatched nature of the material they shoot makes it feel more authentic. I can’t recall if Kieślowski was ever this upfront again about the actual filmmaking mechanics, but he’d certainly return to similar themes in films like Camera Buff, in which home movie footage comes under the same kind of scrutiny to see if it has any unlockable secrets.

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Re: Krzysztof Kieslowski

#125 Post by MichaelB » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:31 pm

From the City of Łódź (Z miasta Łodzi, 1969)

This was Krzysztof Kieślowski’s graduation film from the Łódź Film School. It might have seemed like the height of opportunism (or even cheesiness) to mark this career milestone with a portrait of Poland’s second city, but it’s clear from the opening shots of an exercise break at a textile factory that he’s not interested in appealing to the Łódź tourist authorities: in his own words, “it’s a portrait of a town where some people work, others roam around in search of Lord knows what. Nothing, probably. Generally, it’s the women who work hard and the men not so hard or not at all. A town which is full of eccentricities, full of all sorts of absurd statues and various contrasts. There are trams and old horse-drawn coal carts still on the streets to this day. It’s a town full of terrible restaurants and horrible milk bars. Full of stinking, shitty, pissed, foul toilets. Full of ruins, hovels, recesses.”

All this comes across, but it’s also an immensely affectionate portrait of the city where Kieślowski (a Warsaw native) had lived for four years, as seen mainly through the eyes of the mostly female factory workers. Edward Ciuksza’s mandolin band, very popular with the older women at the factory, is threatened with closure, and its fans react robustly (“They should kick out the Warsaw New Band first - they sound like cats on heat”) before the band itself accompanies a montage contrasting old Łódź buildings with the nearby (often adjacent) construction of large-scale housing projects. Old Mrs Górecka retires after forty years, and is given a single flower as a symbolic token of her colleagues’ affection. (“You’ll have to get a decent shag now and again not to get too bored”, advises one of them). Finally, the film goes out to a nearby park, whose eccentric delights include a man who challenges passers-by to experience electric shocks - possibly a metaphor for the dominant theme of sudden change and people’s understandable resentment.

Kieślowski trained under the veteran Polish documentary-maker Kazimierz Karabasz (many years later, Karabasz’s The Musicians would be the most startling entry on Kieślowski’s Sight & Sound top ten, if only because hardly anyone outside Poland would have heard of it until then), and it has much in common with Karabasz’s own approach, particularly the gradual accretion of small, seemingly eccentric details that combine to create a far more rounded portrait than a more conventional approach with an old-fashioned voiceover might have produced. Like his other 1960s films, it’s not major Kieślowski by any means, but it unmistakably reveals a singular talent that would burst into full flower over the next few years.

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