The Examination of Doubleness in Three Colours: Blue, White, Red (1)
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Three Colours: Blue
Chapter 3 Three Colours: White
Chapter 4 Three Colours: Red
Chapter 5 Conclusion
Chapter 1 Introduction
Krzysztof Kieslowski is a Polish film
director who was born in 1941 and died in 1996. He studied at the Lodz Film
School, which has produced renowned film directors such as Andrzej Wajda, Roman
Polanski and Krzysztof Zanussi.(2) He started his career as
a documentary filmmaker and then shifted his focus to feature film directing,
which has brought him great international acclaim.(3)
One of the clues to understanding the mysterious nature of his films may be said to be the issue of doubleness, when employed as an analytical tool. It is only in The Double Life of Veronique that Kieslowski deals explicitly with the motif of the so-called "double," that is, "a person who looks exactly like another." Here I would like to adopt the word, "doubleness," and to attribute it a broader sense so as to include those situations in which any dual or overlapping layers of images or ideas can be found. This idea of doubleness seems to be existent in many aspects of Kieslowski's films in a range of forms. Some of the examples are given below.
Kieslowski generally presents a double figure in a subtle and unique way. For instance, in The Double Life of Veronique, the two main characters, Weronika and Veronique, who are in a doubled relation to each other, do not confront each other in a direct way, unlike many other works which deal with the theme of a double. Although Weronika and Veronique sense each other's existence, their connection is presented in a very subtle way. Paul Coates pays attention to the same point: "In the classic scenario of doubling, self and reflection meet in simultaneous face-off. In The Double Life of Veronique, however, the heroine's two lives do not parallel and confront one another, but are successive: Weronika's death shifts the narrative from Poland to the France of her alter ego."(4) Moreover, they are not as different from each other as the typical Jekyll-and-Hyde like characters whose characteristics demonstrate contrasting possibilities.
In No End, one of Kieslowski's earlier feature films, the heroine's husband appears as a ghost throughout the film. However, the heroine, Urszula, does not interact with the ghost in an explicit manner as in the Ghost directed by Jerry Zucker, starring Demi Moore. Urszula realises her love for her husband after his death. Her husband has become a ghost after death and watches over his wife. Urszula senses that her husband is still with her but, basically, she cannot see him. In the end, she decides to commit suicide. Only after her death, can she be reunited with her husband, with which image the film ends. Their figures appear half transparent and they pass through the walls of their house to leave the world together.
Blind Chance, another feature film by Kieslowski, presents a different type of double. The protagonist is named Witek, a medical student, and the film shows three stories about his life based on whether or not he catches a train after deciding to quit his studies. The first story focuses on Witek catching the train, meeting a communist and becoming a member of the party himself. He meets his first love one day but their relationship does not last very long owing to friction between them caused by his communist affiliations. He is offered an opportunity to go to France, but fails to take the plane for France. In the second story, he misses the train and gets arrested by a station officer for crashing into him while he was rushing to catch the train. He is condemned to serving some time as a labourer and during his sentence he acquaints himself with a soldier. He decides to join the army. He has another opportunity to visit France but, again, he ends up not leaving his country. In the third episode, he misses the train and encounters a fellow medical student whom he eventually marries. Witek completes his medical studies and, later, when his wife is pregnant with their second baby, Witek is asked by his associate to go abroad in business as his substitute. At the last moment, Witek changes the plane ticket to go via France. The film concludes with the scene of his plane exploding in the sky.
In Blind Chance, the audience sees three versions of Witek's life and it can be argued that the three Witeks are in a "double" relation to one another, since they represent three different life stories depending on whether Witek catches or misses the fatal train. Each Witek can be considered as an incarnation of the question "what if"? In Witek's case, what if he succeeds in catching the train, or what if he takes the plane for France?(5) This kind of conditional mode is used in other films by Kieslowski such as Red. In this film, there is a character named Auguste, a young judge, who repeats many events in the life of another character, Joseph (a retired judge). These examples are only to name a few of the doubles that can be found in Kieslowski's films.
This paper discusses different types of doubleness in the three works that constitute a trilogy, Three Colours: Blue, White, Red and also looks at the issue of doubleness as something that connects different parts of the trilogy. Three Colours: Blue, White, Red is named after the colours of the French Flag. The trilogy examines the meaning of the ideals of the French Revolution, liberty, equality, fraternity on a personal level and within the contexts of modern society. Although the trilogy may appear to have political intentions, the director emphasises that he is only interested in the lives of individual people and not in political organisations or ideologies.(6) For instance, in one of his interviews, when asked about the influence of his experience of living in France to the understanding of his treatment of the issue of liberty in the film, Blue, he comments as follows: "No, because this film, like the other two, has nothing to do with politics. I'm talking about interior liberty. If I wanted to talk about exterior liberty -- liberty of movement -- I would have chosen Poland. . . . But interior liberty is universal."(7)
Blue was shot from September to November in 1992, and White and Red were filmed by May in 1993.(8) The screenplay is a collaboration between Krzysztof Kieslowski and his long-term co-writer, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, and the musical director is Zbigniew Preisner who had joined in Kieslowski's filmmaking since No End produced in 1984. Each of the three films is an independent creation: they are created intentionally with a different cinematographer and the stories revolve around different protagonists. Kieslowski himself underlines the individuality of these three films, placing little importance on the connections between them.(9) In the following chapters, I would like to examine the films separately to clarify the characteristics of the theme of doubleness in each of them.
Chapter 2 Three Colours: Blue
Blue is about a young widow named Julie who loses her
husband and daughter in a car accident at the beginning of the story. The film
traces her struggle in the face of the drastic changes brought about by the
accident. After trying to sever all connections with her past, Julie gradually
reconciles herself with the tragedy and recovers herself, her love and passion.
Her husband, Patrice, was a famous composer, who had been composing music for
the unification of Europe before his death. Julie seems to have been helping
her husband with his composition and it is suggested in the film that she may
have been an editor of his music or even a hidden composer behind Patrice. It
is not clear to what extent she helped her partner. However, the film shows
that, at least, she is familiar with the work of correcting compositions. Patrice
had an assistant named Olivier who has been in love with Julie. Before she leaves
the house in a suburb of Paris where she had been living with her family, she
calls Olivier and they make love. The next morning, she abruptly leaves him
and begins to lead a new, anonymous life in the city of Paris.
Julie thinks that she has cut all her connections with the past and, yet, occasionally she hears a recurring segment of music from Patrice's unfinished work, which drags her back towards her past. Likewise, Olivier refuses to leave her alone, challenging her attitude towards life by announcing his intention to complete Patrice's unfinished score. When Julie learns about Olivier's plan, she also discovers that her husband had a mistress. She tries unsuccessfully to convince Olivier not to proceed with his intentions and also goes to see the mistress, finding her pregnant with Patrice's baby. Another change in her life occurs through forming a friendship with her new neighbour, Lucille, a professional stripper. All these events eventually contribute to Julie's growing ability to overcome the past, rather than trying to ignore it. As a consequence, she begins to work on music again, and accepts Olivier's love.
Kieslowski reveals in Kieslowski on Kieslowski that "Blue is about liberty, the imperfections of human liberty." He poses a question of "How far are we really free?" through presenting the protagonist's ostensible freedom and her illusions about the concept.(10) Julie is very free in a way that she has enough money to survive, so that she does not have to restrict her time on labours to survive. She is also free from house keeping business. She frees herself from past relationships and does not tell anyone of the particulars of her new address. In Kieslowski on Kieslowski, while discussing his work, Decalogue, Kieslowski mentions the issue of freedom again: "I believe we are not free. . . . We're always trying to find a way out. But we're constantly imprisoned by our passions and feelings."(11) In Julie's case, she becomes caught up with her fear of mice, her jealousy of her husband's pregnant mistress and with her impossible attempts to free herself from everything that had contributed to her former identity.
In this chapter, I would like to examine the transformation of the main character, Julie, pinpointing a kind of doubled relation between the Julie of the past and the Julie in the present. There is also a doubled image between the baby mice in her flat and the foetus in Patrice's mistress. Julie suffers from a fear of mice, a childhood fear which she had forgotten about. This fear, however, is intertwined with an adult fear of infidelity. The mistress's baby is also seen as a double of Patrice. Music is another key to comprehending this film. Some critics even suggest that the music seems to have some physicality like a ghost, owing to the way in which the music is presented in the film. Hence, some part of this chapter is devoted to analysing the role of music as a mediator between the Julie of the past and Julie in the present.
Insdorf points out that, as in Red, Blue begins with sounds, which precedes the picture of the sounds' source.(12) We hear the sound of a car driving on a highway and subsequently see a close-up of the tyre of a car running fast on a grey road. Then the camera moves on to focus on a girl sitting at the back of the vehicle carefully hiding the faces of the other two companions in the car, Patrice and Julie. We see Patrice's back and hear Julie's voice. This deliberate framing is consistent throughout the film as Patrice's face only appears on photos, although his name is mentioned numerous times throughout the narrative. Before long, the screen reveals a young man playing with a cup and ball. He keeps trying to put the ball in the cup without succeeding. After a few more attempts, he finally puts the ball in the cup, his face lighting up with a big smile. Shortly afterwards, we hear the sounds of a car crash. These segments seem to represent how accidental life is, picking up on one of the recurring themes of Kieslowski's films.(13) It is all by chance that the car crashed against a tree, that the boy succeeded in the game just before the accident and that the boy was there beside the road when the accident happened.
The viewers do not really know what Julie was like before the car accident, since the screen hardly shows her at the very beginning of the film before the accident occurs. In contrast, soon after the scene of the car crash, we see Julie in an extreme close up as she is lying in a hospital bed. We learn about Julie's past only through Julie's present life. There are flashbacks in the film but these clues to the protagonist's past only occur in the form of music and, thus, we are unable to see what she was like visually, as is the common form of flashbacks in films. As Kieslowski reveals later in his Kieslowski on Kieslowski, the witness, Antoine, plays the important role of a mediator between the present Julie and the Julie in the past. As he says, only through Antoine, are we able to know something that we have not been shown. Firstly, he leads Julie to reveal Patrice's personal habit of always repeating the punch line twice when he makes a joke. This is a new and rare piece of information about Patrice, for otherwise the viewers are only informed that he was a well-known composer who had a mistress. The other important thing to emerge during the meeting of Antoine and Julie is that she laughs for the first time in the film, indicating as Kieslowski notes that, "when she's with Antoine we see that she used to laugh."(14)
Now I would like to examine Julie's decision to start a new life when she emerges from the hospital. She arranges the sale of the house that she had shared with her husband and daughter, in order to erase all reminders of her past family life. She also organises for her mother to be cared for in a nursing home and obtains a little apartment for herself in the middle of Paris. James M. Wall uses the word, "disappearing," to describe Julie's reaction to the recent trauma.(15) It is different from "moving" or "changing." Roger Ebert uses the word, "anonymous," in the same context. He says, "She . . . moves to the centre of Paris, to what she hopes is an anonymous apartment on an anonymous street."(16) Wall also describes the first stage that she goes through after the disaster as "stupor of grief."(17) It seems to me that an opposite explanation may be necessary; because Julie seems to be highly aware of what she is doing. The actions she makes at this stage appear to be fairly decisive. By contrast, she looks unsure about herself when Olivier announces later in the film that he will not be requiring her assistance any more to correct his score. I would suggest that she appears to choose one set of directions with her reason, but something external to her plans draws her in an opposite direction. Richard Corliss mentions the trap initiated by her highly conscious scheme. He cites Julie's words first: "I don't want any love, memories, belongings. Those are traps." Then he points out that, "It takes her the length of the film to realise that isolation is the deadliest snare, that the only release is art and passion."(18) The concept of a hole in an artificial life plan reappears in White, which will be examined in the following chapter. Kieslowski may be pointing out that life is not something that we can control through rationally devised planning.
Julie appears at pains to prove that she is not attached to any activity. She seems to need to say it aloud to other people in order to convince herself. At the real estate office, when asked for her occupation, she replies that she does nothing. She repeats the same words to her mother, this time, without being asked. It sounds more like a declaration of her ideal than a description of how she actually is. It would be natural to think of death, if someone wants nothing from life. In fact, she attempts to kill herself in the aftermath of the accident, while she is still in the hospital. She breaks a window in order to distract the attention of a nurse nearby and sneaks into a room where medicine is stored. She takes a jar of pills and places the entire contents into her mouth, but she regurgitates the pills out on her hand instead of swallowing them. When she finds the nurse glancing at her, she says, "I can't do it. I can't." Then she confesses that she has broken the window. The nurse replies, "It's all right." Julie does not seem to be listening to her, and says, "I'm sorry." The nurse tries to console her by saying, "It can be replaced." This line sounds ironical in the context of a woman who tried to commit suicide for something that could not be replaced, her family. Insdorf suggests that Julie's reaction is simply as follows: "Unable to end her life, she at least puts an end to her past."(19) She cuts almost all the connections with her past life with her husband and daughter. She refuses to be interviewed; she organises to sell their house and possessions; she throws away Patrice's latest composition; and she moves into an apartment without letting anyone know about the new address. When she visits her mother, she declares; "From now on, I'll only do one thing. Nothing. I have no possessions, no memories, no friends, loves or ties." She seems to talk about herself only to her mother. Her mother asks Julie if she has enough money to make her living, and tells her that it is impossible to reject everything. Julie's mother reacts with practical advice. However, she is confused about her daughter's identity. Although Julie's mother's past is not revealed in the film, one could imagine that she might have gone through a stage where she wanted to throw away everything in the past, and might have succeeded: now she does not even recognise her daughter.
Julie appears to execute her plan to cease connections with her past fairly well. However, there are holes in her scheme that she cannot cover. Firstly, she cannot control the affects of other people's actions on her life. Although Julie herself decides to leave all the musical works including Patrice's unfinished concerto, Olivier makes a move to proceed with Patrice's work and announces his decision in an interview on television, which Julie happens to see. He also finds out where Julie is, despite her concealment of her new address. Julie also cannot dispose of all the property left by her husband and daughter. She discovers that the officer who was in charge of Patrice's work had taken a copy of his last score in secret, an action which enables Olivier to work on completing the composition. She also finds out that her daughter's blue chandelier is left in her blue room when she had asked Bernard, one of her servants, to remove everything. In consequence, she takes the chandelier with her to her new apartment, instead of throwing it away, as she had intended. She also begins to learn about Patrice's girlfriend and the baby, which makes her decide to give the house to them, instead of selling it as she had initially planned. Antoine also succeeds in finding Julie through her doctor. As a result, he informs her of particulars about the moment of the car crash which inevitably draws her back to the past. Besides, it becomes clear towards the end of the film that she has not thrown away the note that Patrice left for the finale of his unfinished concerto. This turns out to be the final clue to complete the concerto under the names of Julie and Olivier at the end of the film.
Above all, she cannot control the emergence of the past through the continuous recurrence of the music within her mind. There are occasional flashbacks through the film where the music becomes the only continuing factor, often accompanied by blackouts. Kieslowski himself refers to such moments."Not only does the music come back to her but time stands still for a moment."(20) He says that the device is "to convey an extremely subjective point of view."(21) The time passes, except for Julie who experiences time stopping for a moment. She cannot tell what is going on around her during the fade-outs. The music and her past take over without her being able to control them, cutting her connection with her present life. A couple of times, it happens when she is with another character. Her interaction with these characters is interrupted momentarily for reasons that are only explicable to Julie. The following are the scenes of the flashbacks. The first flashback occurs when she is having a nap on a chair in the hospital. She suddenly hears fragments of music from the last and unfinished composition by Patrice with a vision of a blue light. An interviewer comes into the room and says, "Bonjour." Then there is a black screen before Julie replies, "Bonjour." In response to Julie's refusal to take part in an interview, the reporter says, "You've changed. You used to be nicer." Julie coldly replies, "Didn't you hear that my husband and daughter died in a car accident?" In one way, she has not changed at all. Why was she "nicer" to the reporter before? It is because she had a good reason to be like that. Now the whole circumstances have changed, and her reason to behave negatively is a logical extension of her previous behaviour.
Another flashback appears at night, when she locks herself out of her apartment. She sits on the steps in front of her room, and it is then that she hears the music re-emerging. There is a reflection of blue light on her face and shoulders, but this time there is no blackout. She hears the music again when Antoine, the witness of the car accident, meets her and shows her a chain with a cross. It is probably a gift from Patrice, for later, the audience as well as Julie discovers that his girlfriend is wearing an identical necklace to that which Julie had formerly worn. Antoine tries to talk to her, but Julie refuses to hear about the accident that he witnessed. Now she experiences a moment of the music re-occurring. This time she might have anticipated that the flashback would occur, and that perhaps explains why she refuses to listen to him. Initially, she even refuses to meet him. Julie has a further blackout with music, when Olivier asks her what she wants to do with Patrice's mistress. Only after the black out, can she reply that she wants to see her.
The music, which accompanies these flashbacks, seems to connect the dual layers of Julie's life which consists of her previous life and her present life. She tries to control her life by consciously rejecting her past so that she can launch a new life. However, this disjunction is only possible on a material level, such as by moving into a new apartment or by disposing of her daughter and husband's property. No matter how much she tries, she cannot control the rise of music in her mind since it issues from her unconscious. On one occasion, she tries to shut out the music with the help of a material intervention. She is at the pool and, as she surfaces from the water, the music strikes her again. She goes back into the water to obtain the barrier of water, although the strategy does not seem to work very well. The music visits her like a ghost from her past, which is impossible to seize. Geoff Andrew suggests that in the scene where the music segments occurs to her mind for the first time in the hospital, it looks "as if the music itself were a (blue?) physical presence," for the musical fragments are accompanied by an inexplicable appearance of a blue light.(22)
The crucial moment that changes Julie's attitude towards her past accidentally arises when she visits her new girlfriend, Lucille, at her strip bar one night. A television in the bar happens to be showing the programme about Olivier's announcement to finish Patrice's unfinished concerto. It is possible that Julie would never have known about Olivier's project as such as well as Patrice's mistress, if she had been reluctant to visit Lucille at the bar at midnight for, as it is revealed in her conversation with her mother, she does not watch television.(23) While in conversation with Julie, Lucille stares at something beyond the screen. It appears as if she is looking down at the audience of the strip show, so when she says, "Julie. . . Is that you over there?" some viewers might have the sensation that this film might have begun to approach the mysterious sphere of The Double Life of Veronique. But then the camera shows a television screen in the distance, where Olivier is being interviewed about Patrice and his unfinished composition. Julie appears in historical clips from the composer's life. It is no wonder that Lucille is unsure if it is Julie or not, for Julie has concealed her past including the accident, and has changed physically since the image captured was shot just after the accident.
Finding her own image, Julie replies, "It's me. . ." She is virtually talking to herself, for Lucille has already left for her show. Besides, Julie does not seem to care about anything except for the television programme, which reveals that the European Council has asked Olivier to finish the concerto initially commissioned to Patrice. It also presents some pictures of Patrice with a young woman who is a stranger to Julie. Now she takes very prompt actions to get to know the things around her which she has not known. Her past life finally attracts her attention. In the same night, she visits a woman who was in charge of Patrice's score. Earlier in the film, Julie had regained the score from her and had thrown it away. However, the woman had secretly made a copy of the score, which enabled Olivier to succeed with the composition. The next day she pursues Olivier to ask about his project and the young woman in the photos. For the first time she is chasing him and not vice versa. She also finds out from him that her husband had a long-time liaison with the young woman, Sandrine. Olivier had discovered her photos in Patrice's file. He kept the file that Julie had refused to accept.(24) She goes to the court where Sandrine is working as a lawyer. At first, Julie stares at a young lady standing at the front of the court, thinking that the woman might be Sandrine. It is no wonder that Julie is not sure of Sandrine's appearance, for she has seen her only in photos. After observing the young lady for a while, she concludes that she is mistaken. She walks farther into the court and finds Sandrine who is about to go into a courtroom to defend Dominique against Karol from White. (The same scene is captured through from another standpoint at the beginning of White.) It is interesting to see how Kieslowski draws attention to our daily life's confusion about people's identity.(25)
One of the requirements on which Julie insists in the real estate office when she is seeking a new apartment is that there are no children living in the same building. She moves into an apartment which suits her requirement. However, after a while, she goes back to the real estate agent and asks for another place, because she is scared of the squeaking noise of mice in her unit. Insdorf suggests that Julie's fear about the mice might be more to do with babies than with animals, associating the noise of baby mice with the squeals of a group of little girls who once jumped into the pool when she was swimming.(26) It is also possible that the fear of mice is not only associated with her daughter's death but also with Sandrine's pregnancy due to her affair with Patrice. In the pool scene, her face becomes blank in contrast with the vivid joy of the girls in the background. The happier the girls appear, the more painful the experience must be for her, for it would unavoidably raise the emotional loss of her daughter. As a child, she was scared of mice. She clarifies her vague memory of her childhood phobia by questioning her mother. Why has the fear suddenly come back? It seems to derive from her doubled shock to learn that Patrice's mistress is pregnant with his child, not long after she has lost her only daughter, Anna. The mouse in her unit has just had babies, too, which must remind Julie of both her daughter's death and her husband's deceit. The x-ray of the foetus in the girlfriend's womb appears to be doubled with the image of a baby mouse.
Because the agent tells her that there is no alternative accommodation available, she tries to get over her problem. Consequently, she decides to kill the mice. She rents a cat from a downstairs' neighbour and leaves it in her room. She goes to a swimming pool and experiences a flashback accompanied by music, mentioned earlier. When her girlfriend, Lucille, finds her in the pool, Julie is crying. This is the first time that she cries in the film. Julie explains what she has done to the mice. Although this is the only time that her emotion penetrates the wall she has built to separate her from the past, she insistently refuses to reveal the depth of her fear and sadness, and blurs it with the superficial incident with the mice and a cat.
Lucille plays a significant part in helping Julie recover. Although she does not know anything concrete about Julie's past, she senses that something disastrous has occurred in Julie's life. She becomes Julie's first and only friend in the new life. She helps Julie to maintain connections with the outside world in her intentionally isolated life, and is willing to support her when she is in trouble without invading her privacy. Geoff Andrew argues that Lucille may be representing "a surrogate daughter-figure" for Julie. He finds one implication in that Lucille is "arguably the film's most 'innocent' character in so far as, like a child, she happily goes about without underwear and naively believes that anyone would, like her, enjoy exposing their naked body to the public gaze." He also points to the fact that Lucille, on finding a blue chandelier in Julie's apartment, claims that she had such a thing as a child.(27) However, this argument is hard to support. Firstly, although little children may not be shy about being naked in public, they do not seem to be aware of that state, while strippers take off their clothes on purpose. Secondly, the fact that Lucille recognises Julie's daughter's chandelier as something from her childhood past proves that she is no more a child.
Olivier is a contrastive character to Lucille in that he drags Julie out of the vacancy of her new life, since he is highly aware of the background that caused her present status. He may have also known an aspect of Julie that she has concealed from herself in her previous life. Towards the end of the film, he suggests to Julie that they should name themselves as the composers of the concerto for the unification of Europe. Julie has never admitted that she takes part in Patrice's composition. Now Julie finally takes a step in identifying herself as a musical collaborator. Olivier must have known how essential music is in Julie's life. He actually proposes to complete Patrice's composition, so that he might help Julie to recover her passion for music and life. When Julie asks him about the project, he clarifies the reason why he had accepted the work: "So I could make you cry, so I could make you run. It was the only way to make you care." Julie loses her words for a moment; she is losing her dominance over him. Insdorf finds a duality in Olivier's character. According to her, he is finishing Patrice's composition "like a dutiful shadow." However, he regards himself as "a composer in his own right." He had previously asked Julie for her advice on his draft of the score. However, at the end, when Julie tells him on the phone that she has finished the composition, he refuses to accept her version of the score, saying that his attempt means that it is his own work, no matter how incomplete it might be. There is a scene where the screen shows him with his reflection on the lid of a grand piano, and Insdorf suggests that the image means an "externalisation of his split personality."(28)
At the end of the film, Julie makes love with Olivier. David Bromwich interprets this as "a consolation she can give rather than take" for his less than outstanding music talent.(29) It is true that Julie is "very generous" in some ways as is described in the film by her treatment of Patrice's mistress and through her assistance in Patrice's composition without announcing her contribution to the work. However, even though she appears extraordinary generous at times from a common sense perspective, she also seems to have her own reasons for that generosity. Maybe she gave her husband's inheritance to his mistress, because she could not bear the thought of self-abhorrence born of jealousy. She may have rather preferred that the woman would be indebted to her. In the last scene when she makes love with Olivier, she finally seems to accept Olivier's love rather than "consoling" him. This relationship between Olivier and Julie is contrastive to that in the beginning of the film where Julie takes the initiative and controls the whole situation: she calls him to her place when she wants, and leaves him behind abruptly without explanations. Now she goes to his place herself and accepts his love. When they make love this time, she finally cries. Insdorf interprets the tears as suggestive of "a return to life."(30) Although her past life with a successful composer may have appeared almost perfect, it must have been lacking in something fundamental, considering that her husband had had a mistress for years in secret. Now she has overcome the shock of the accident and the discovery of the mistress. She has also found love in music as well as in Olivier and, with his support, she is now able to admit that she takes part in composing music, which she could never do before. Through the disastrous experience in her life, Julie might have become happier at the end of the film with a transformed self.
Chapter 3 Three Colours: White
Karol Karol, named after
Charles Chaplin, is a young Polish hairdresser living in France. At the beginning
of the film, he is forced to divorce his beautiful French wife owing to impotence.
At first, he is devastated, then he decides to seek revenge on his ex-wife,
Dominique, by becoming her equal. He returns to Poland with the help of Mikolaj
whom he encounters at a train station, while playing a Polish song on a comb
wrapped in a paper. Karol manages to accumulate a fortune in his own country
and, subsequently, prepares an intriguing plan for his revenge. He writes a
will leaving all his fortune to his ex-wife, Dominique, and organises a fake
funeral in order to lure her to Poland through the lucrative will. After his
own funeral, Karol goes to Dominique's hotel, and waits for her in bed. On her
return, he reveals his plan and, recovering his sexual potency, they make love.
The next morning, Karol leaves while Dominique is still asleep, and the police
arrest Dominique on suspicion of killing her ex-husband for his wealth. Karol's
plan is not yet finished. Ironically, Dominique is now in the vulnerable position,
just like Karol had been in France, for she is imprisoned for committing a murder
of a man who is still alive. According to Karol's original plan, he was to fly
abroad before her arrest. However, he finds himself still in love with her and
decides to stay in Poland, visiting her in prison. The film ends when Dominique
gestures her wish to remarry him from behind bars.
Kieslowski says, "White is about equality understood as a contradiction. . . . I don't think anybody really wants to be equal. Everyone wants to be more equal."(31) As Kieslowski puts it, after the main character goes through an extreme humiliation, is rejected in love, and loses his possessions, "he wants to show that not just is he not as low as he's fallen, not just is he on a level with everybody else, but that he's higher, that he's better."(32) In fact, once he arrives in his home country, he is not satisfied with only being a hairdresser, as he used to be. Soon after he begins his life in Poland again, he goes to see a Mafia-like man and tells him that being a hairdresser does not bring him much money and that making money is what he wants to learn about. Thus begins his new business where he becomes the boss and earns an outstanding amount of money. However, he also wants to be "more equal" in sexual ability than other men. When he finally succeeds in provoking Dominique's orgasm, he says to her with satisfaction, "You were louder than you were on the phone." The comment refers to Karol's humiliation through Dominique's behaviour with another man, relayed to Karol via the phone just before he leaves France.(33)
There are different kinds of doubleness in this film. Firstly, the main character, Karol, shows an amazing transformation from his sense of identity at the beginning of the film to a form of self-development brought about by his struggle to overcome a disastrous event in his life. A timid, pathetic man, who had seemed to have nothing else to support himself except his hairdressing competency, transforms into a confident, commanding parvenu through a passionate drive for revenge. I would like to examine how he changes and how this change in him is presented in the film, arguing that the two Karols create a form of double over time. Also, his life gains a duality from the moment of his fake funeral, when he lives side by side with his deceased identity. The third doubleness is presented in the form of a white bust of a young lady. He finds the sculpture just before he leaves France and it becomes a symbol of his ex-wife as well as her substitute.
The changing circumstances of Karol's life begin when he is confronted by impotence. Karol appears devastated and desperate, but he seems to overcome the miserable state as a defeated man when he is utterly humiliated by Dominique. He rings her at night from a train station, which is located in front of her apartment, while noticing a man's shadow at her window. When she answers the phone, she forces him to listen to her orgasm with the man who is not, like Karol, impotent. He slams the phone down, finding the machine has taken his change of two francs. He goes to the station clerk's window and tells a clerk that the machine has taken his change. The clerk almost ignores him at first, but then Karol, who had looked until then like a shy, cowardly man, tells him with an enraged face and voice that he had better give him the change. The matter of the change itself is a trifling incident. However, for Karol it is essentially a matter of fair trade and equality. At this moment, it seems that Karol decides to concentrate all his efforts on achieving a status of equality with his ex-wife. This coin, eventually conceded by the clerk, is his last coin and he takes it to Poland with him.
He again becomes frantic about the coin, back in Poland. He is smuggled into his homeland in a suitcase that is stolen by airport workers and dropped off at a dump on top of a snowy hill. The robbers are furious to find that all their efforts to carry the enormously heavy suitcase end up with only a human body and a two francs coin. When one of them takes the coin away from him, Karol suddenly gains a surprising burst of energy. He attacks the man and retrieves his coin but, at the same time, he is kicked and hit by the men and thrown into a hole at the dump. Waking up, he looks at snow-covered Warsaw and says, "Home at last." He goes to his brother's hair salon where he convalesces. Karol, at one point, thinks of throwing the coin into a river. However, when he attempts to throw it away, he finds that the coin has stuck on his hand. He looks at the coin from below, holding his hand out with the palm down. He even shakes his hand a little to see if it will budge. It doesn't. The next camera shot shows a decisive face focused on a plan. He appears to be saying that he will not give up until he reaches his goal, no matter what happens. Then there is the first flash-forward of Dominique after his funeral. She is in black, looking down, in a very dark space, which turns out to be the hotel room in which she stays in Poland, when she comes over for her ex-husband's funeral.
This coin seems to symbolise Karol as a revenger. He receives the coin at the moment when he decides on his scheme of revenge on Dominique and he guards it up until the moment when he thinks his plan for revenge is totally organised by obtaining a dead body for his fake funeral. He and his assistant go to a train station at night where he buys an imported body whose face is smashed in and, thus, is unrecognisable. The body along with the precious coin is kept in a coffin. He is confident that Dominique will come to Poland for his funeral because of the will. Now he only waits to see her fall into his intriguing trap. Previously there is a scene where he spins the coin on a table and stares at it, followed by a flash-forward of the scene when Dominique comes back to a hotel room after attending his funeral. His glaring face suggests his strong will to achieve his purpose.
Parting from his precious two franc coin, he now faces another phase of his life. He had organised a death certificate through his assistant and his fake funeral proceeds. At the funeral, he peeps at Dominique through binoculars. What he sees are her tears. His close-up shows his pity for her grief over his unreal death. The grief does not stay long because, after Karol astonishes Dominique in the hotel, they finally achieve consummation. However, the next morning, he leaves her in the room and hides himself. Finding herself alone in the room, Dominique rings Mikolaj in her quest to find her lover. The next conversation works on a dual level because of different perceptions about his existence:
Dominique: Where's Karol?
Mikolaj: He's dead.
Dominique: He's not, last night. . .
Mikolaj: You were at his funeral.
Dominique: I wasn't. He was alive.
Mikolaj: I'm sorry.
Dominique: You must help me find him. . . I love him.
Mikolaj: Sure. He's in Section 23, plot number 10,675. The name of the cemetery in Polish is Powazkowski.
Here, she is trapped in the doubleness of his official death and his private actuality. Mikolaj's response is totally ironical, since he is one of a few people who know the truth behind the funeral. He stays thoroughly official for the fraternity of Karol, who once saved his life. While on the phone, Dominique hears a knock at the door. She cries with a joy, "He's back." She opens the door only to find interrogating policemen whose presence had been planned by Karol in advance. In front of all these official people, her words about Karol being alive sound idiotic or even a vain, naive attempt to cover her guilt over his murder. She is literally caged in by his trap.
However, at the same time, Karol is trapped in his own scheme. Especially at the funeral and also through the loving night with Dominique, he seems to realise that he still loves her. That is why he does not take the plane as he had organised earlier to leave his past with Dominique behind. For him, the achievement of equality that seemed to be the very end of the story with Dominique now proves to be only another beginning. Instead of leaving all his former life in France and Poland for Singapore, he goes in stealth to the prison where Dominique is incarcerated. Before visiting her at the prison, he stands for a while at the window at his brother's place in a daze, probably from the gap between his picture of the future and his actual situation at the culmination of his revenge. His brother warns him, "Don't stand in the window. Somebody will see you again." At this stage, Karol, who perhaps has impressed many of the audience with his elaborate scheme of revenge, appears diminished as if acknowledging that he has made so much effort only to place himself in bigger trouble. However, although originally outside of his plan, the grand scheme does bring about a happy realisation that he and Dominique still love each other. At the end of the film, Dominique promises to remarry him through gestures perceived between the prison bars, leaving Karol smiling through his tears. Later, at the end of Red, we see a glimpse of the two of them being rescued from a devastating ferry accident: they had departed for a voyage for their new life with love, which is now rescued again. Even though Karol has gone through a dramatic change in his life, his love for Dominique remains the same or even has grown more.
This conclusion seems to suggest that there are situations that can be intentionally changed, while less material aspects such as love are enduring. Here, the film, White resembles the preceding film, Blue. Both of the protagonists, Karol and Julie, consciously change their life, and partly their personality, in order to terminate their past. Their intentions succeed to a certain degree, but both confront elements that had not been part of their original plans. After all, life is controllable only to some extent, partly because we do not know enough about ourselves. In this case, probably both Karol and Julie underestimated their love, the love for Dominique in Karol's case and the love for music and perhaps for Olivier, in Julie's case.
Like Julie, Karol scarcely brings anything, in the material sense, from his previous life into the new one. The difference is that while Julie does so on purpose, Karol is forced to lose most of his possessions, including his hair salon and bank account. He only intentionally gets rid of his certificates from his hairdressing career, which had represented the centre of his life up until then. He had met Dominique at a hairstyle competition and, subsequently, they married and opened a fashionable hair salon in Paris. Insdorf points out a similarity between the scene where Karol throws away his rolled up diplomas onto the tracks in a subway before leaving France, and the scene in Blue where Julie throws Patrice's score of Concerto into a rubbish truck, both of which represent their attempt to "free themselves from the immediate past."(34) Geoff Andrew acknowledges the same point, saying that both Blue and White have common themes, one of which is "the need to let go of the past, while at the same time acknowledging its existence, in order to proceed with the present."(35) On the other hand, there are some things that both Karol and Julie take with them into their new life. For Julie it is her daughter's blue chandelier, which she takes with her, when she moves into her new apartment. Karol insists on taking two things with him to his homeland. One is the two franc coin, mentioned earlier, and the other is a white bust of a young lady. This bust plays an important role in his new life as a symbol of Dominique and is associated with the meaning of the chandelier for Julie, being a symbolic reminder of her daughter and her past life.
Karol finds the bust in a shop window in France. When he decides to go back to Poland with Mikolaj's help, he tells him that he has to do something first. It is to steal the bust from the shop. The statue gets broken when one of the thieves throws it away. The thieves also throw Karol into the dump, and when he wakes, he finds the bottom part of the sculpture and grabs it. When he is settled in his brother's place in Poland, he fixes the bust. While sticking the last broken piece into its proper place, the bust moves a little. In reality, it is just because his hand happened to push the object lightly. However, it looks as if the bust has gained a life of its own, particularly to Karol, who still desires his ex-wife. He gives an affectionate look to it and pushes it again. On another night, he is learning French from a cassette tape and he turns his attention towards the statue, moving closer and closer to it. The sculpture's head is inclined to one side slightly. For a moment, it looks as if two lovers are looking at each other in the dark. The white bust now looks black because of the darkness and Karol kisses the still form. Here it functions as a substitute for his ex-wife. Unlike Dominique, the girl of the statue does not reject him. She just looks at him warmly.
One night, Karol calls Dominique's name in his dream. The camera shows a close-up of the statue located on top of a tall set of drawers before approaching Karol blurred in the background. We hear him call her name, while looking at the image of the bust, so it feels as if the bust has gained the substance of the name. The camera shifts its focus on Karol, as he wakes up. When he wakes up, he rings Dominique, but as soon as Dominique realises who is calling, she rejects him and hangs up the phone. While the real Dominique is present, the statue is out of the screen. Karol disappointedly puts down the phone and gives a reproachful look in the direction of the statue. The next shot shows the still form looking down at him as ever.
The bust has a strong presence in Karol's life, the camera quite often capturing Karol with the object, whether or not there is any interaction between the two of them. The statue actually seems to change its position depending on where Karol is. For instance, when he is getting dressed in his room to make an arrangement about the land with Mafia-like men, the camera captures the bust at the background by the window in the gentle morning sunshine. The sculpture's changing locations suggest that Karol must have needed something to fill the absence of Dominique in his life.
The reference to doubleness is also present through the image of reflections in this film, as in Blue. When Karol visits a farmhouse that he intends to purchase, he stays overnight. When he wakes up in the morning, he looks at his reflection in a glass, using the reflection to arrange his hair. His image is slightly deformed because of the uneven surface of the glass. For a brief moment, he looks slimmer and tougher, and to some degree, he has actually become like that. He is at the farm from which he will make a huge profit and, although he still has to deal with the gang from whom he stole the information about the land, he is not scared of anything any more, probably because he has gone through the worst. He creates a new hairstyle for himself in the mirror image, combing back all his hair into a style that projects his businessman image.(36) He changes his clothes, too. He wears a fashionable business suit, and his behaviour reflects his confidence about what he is doing. He does not look like the guy any more who was playing songs with his comb for some coins down at the train station. However, he has not completely changed. Rather we see the two faces of Karol now, the business face of Karol and the face of Karol in love. When he is dealing with his business, he is confident and knows what to do, everything working as he wishes. On the contrary, his face is totally vulnerable in dealing with his emotions, as, for instance, when he rings Dominique.
Mikolaj offers another type of doubleness through talking about himself in the third person singular in order to make it sound like a story about someone else. This trait first appears when he meets Karol for the first time. When Karol tells him about his difficult situation, Mikolaj offers him a job. In response to questions about the details of the work, Mikolaj explains: "It's to kill someone. It's what he wants himself. He says he's lost the will to live. A compatriot. He'll pay very well, enough to live on for six months." At this stage, Karol refuses to be involved in such a job as he is not yet ready to do anything in pursuit of his goal. However, later in Poland, Karol asks about the job again. At this stage, Karol does not seem to have any suspicion that Mikolaj actually refers to Mikolaj himself. He asks Mikolaj if he is still in touch with "the man." When Mikolaj replies that he can make contact with him, Karol says; "He needs help. Someone has to help him." This is how Karol justifies pursuing such a job, although he is talking about himself, too, since it is Karol who desperately needs help now, help from Mikolaj.
Karol and Mikolaj arrange the time and date for the job to be done. When Karol arrives in the dark subway, Mikolaj appears. Karol asks him, "What happened? Did he change his mind?" At this stage, Mikolaj finally confesses that the story is his own. He urges the hesitating Karol to shoot him by grabbing Karol's gun and targeting himself on his chest. Karol shoots. When Mikolaj begins falling down with the sound of the gunshot, the screen shows the movement in slow motion for the first and last time in the film. Karol supports him quickly before he collapses. Slowly, Mikolaj opens his eyes. Karol must have anticipated that Mikolaj was talking about himself, since he had prepared an empty shell in the gun's firing compartment. He tells Mikolaj that the second shot will be real, if that is what he wishes. Karol repeats his question, "Are you sure?" Mikolaj finally shakes his head in denial. Mikolaj insists that Karol should still take the money for his work. Karol accepts but only as a loan for his new business, which they establish together later on.
The next scene takes place on a frozen lake. The white colour dominates the screen, contrasting with the previous shadowy scene in the subway. Now filled with life, they run and slip on the ice like two children. Mikolaj says that he feels as if he had just finished school. Mikolaj says, "Anything's possible," and gives a loud cry of joy. Karol seems to have not only saved him, but also raised him onto the next phase in his life, wherein Mikolaj gains a real appreciation of life in contrast to his previous existence like a dead man. For the first time in the film, Mikolaj laughs with joy in response to his new, second life. Similarly, the concept of death gives Karol another life. As we have seen earlier, his scheme of a fake funeral brings his ex-wife back and leads to the realisation of his love for her. Insdorf mentions the same point, saying that both Karol and Mikolaj go through a deceptive death to be reborn with a second chance which she regards as a theme that penetrates the Three Colours trilogy: earlier mistakes serve as a foundation for future successes.(37)
Chapter 4 Three Colours: Red
Red, the last film of the trilogy, takes place in Geneva
and the story is about a friendship between a young model and student, Valentine,
and an old retired judge, Joseph Kern. Kieslowski says that it is a film of
isolation.(38) The location of the film was deliberately chosen,
for he considers Switzerland as the most isolated among all European countries.
The main characters, Valentine and Joseph are both isolated in their own way.
Besides, the frequent appearance of phone conversations seems to draw attention
to the isolation born of modern life in general. Valentine is a good-natured,
gentle girl. She has a boyfriend, but he is abroad on business, and their only
communication is through phone calls. From their phone talk, it becomes apparent
that her boyfriend holds a strong sense of possession over her, with no room
for trust. He repeatedly asks if she is by herself and what she has been doing,
as if to control her life even from overseas. At one time, he suggests that
she discontinue her job as a model. Valentine rejects his suggestion in a mild
manner. On the other hand, when Valentine asks him if he loves her, he only
replies that he thinks so. While Valentine wants a clearer reply, he says that
there is no difference between whether he loves her, or he thinks he does. At
the same time, Valentine is anxious about her sixteen-year-old brother named
Marc. He has been addicted to drugs, since discovering that his father was not
his real father at the age of fifteen. Valentine, living apart from both her
brother and mother, worries about them both. She suggests that her brother visit
their mother because she would enjoy his company. At the same time, she warns
him not to mention anything about his drug problem. Valentine cannot endure
the thought of her mother learning to know about her son's unhappy condition.
In the end, she decides to leave for England to see her boyfriend, although
she is still worried about the situation.
Joseph, on the other hand, has had an early retirement from his judicial profession. He is living by himself on top of a hill in Geneva. He is deeply hurt from an experience of deception caused by a girlfriend in his youth, and ever since, he has not had close relations with women. Now he spends his time eavesdropping on his neighbour's phone conversations. In this way, he has insight into other people's private feelings, while refusing to have any real relationships himself. However, Valentine brings about a change in his pessimistic views of life. One day, Valentine runs over his dog, Rita. Finding a label on her neck with the address, she immediately takes the dog to the owner, Joseph. However, his attitude is far from what she had expected. He tells her that he does not really care about the dog. In shock and rage, Valentine takes the dog to a veterinary doctor. There she finds that Rita's injury is not very serious and that she is expecting puppies. Consequently, she decides to keep the dog at her place. One day, she takes Rita for a walk, only to find that, when Valentine releases the leash, the dog disappears. Valentine returns to Joseph's place, where she finds the dog reinstalled with her owner. In a way, the dog brings the two characters together. On this second visit to his place, Valentine happens to find him eavesdropping on his neighbour's phone conversation. Although she feels his behaviour is offensive, there is not much she can do about it. Furthermore, she is shocked by his negative view of people.
However, her visit leads the old judge to stop his eavesdropping. Soon after she leaves, he decides to write both to the court and to his neighbours to denounce himself. Consequently, his story appears in the paper, which prompts another visit from Valentine in order to let him know that she has not talked about him to anyone. Valentine's reaction is exactly in accord with what Joseph expected. He reveals that his real motivation in denouncing himself was to see her again. This third meeting between them is much more amiable than the previous two. Both protagonists seem to have broken down their psychological barriers and they freely talk about themselves. As a result, Valentine invites him to her fashion show and, thus, Joseph begins to assume significance in her life, just as she does in his life.
The film has a sub plot revolving around a young man named Auguste who lives near Valentine. Their lives often cross, but they never appear to notice each other until the end of the film. Auguste seems to repeat Joseph's life in fine detail. Firstly, he passes an examination to become a judge in exactly the same way as Joseph had done many years earlier. They both happen to drop their law book before the day of their examination and read the page opened by the incident. The answers to the examination questions are on that page, which contributes greatly for them to gain their legal qualifications. Secondly, both men are deceived by their partners. Joseph knows Auguste through his phone eavesdropping and from seeing him with his girlfriend who lives across the road, a spatial relationship replicated by August and Valentine. As the story evolves, the connection between Joseph and Auguste is revealed. The film ends when Auguste finally meets Valentine in a ferry accident.
The film, Red, also incorporates alternative kinds of doubleness than those that occur in the other films that we have examined. The major doubled relationship can be found in the connection between the retired judge and the young judge, further consolidated by the similarity between Joseph's lover and Auguste's girlfriend both in their deceptive behaviours and appearances. The old judge is, at the same time, often considered a double figure of the director, Kieslowski himself. Valentine gains a kind of double in Joseph's dream, where she appears as an older woman, intimating that the dream figure glimpses into Valentine's future. Valentine's presence is often dominated by photographic images, being supported by her career as a model. There is also a powerful use of reflections throughout the film. Details of these points will be examined below.
The first scene shows someone's hand dialing a phone alongside Valentine's framed photo. The person who is making a call turns out to be her boyfriend, Michel. Many of her photos are inserted during the film, mainly because she is a fashion model, currently making a chewing gum commercial. There is a scene of a cameraman shooting her in a studio, where Valentine stands in front of a bright red background. Amongst the many photos taken, Valentine chooses the one with a sad look on her face to be enlarged for the advertisement. This huge poster exerts a great presence throughout the film. It is hung on the wall of a busy street in Geneva and the film shows both Auguste and Joseph respectively seeing the image for the first time. When Auguste finds it, he even stops for a while at the cross section until the following car beeps at him. This incident contrasts with the fact that he never notices the real Valentine crossing so closely next to him every now and then in the town. Joseph also spends some time watching the picture of Valentine.
We see the huge image of Valentine getting crashed on the ground, when the poster is taken away owing to a storm towards the end of the film. This collapsed image may be meant to be an omen because shortly after this occurrence, she is involved in a disastrous ferry accident on her way to see her boyfriend. Fortunately, she is found among the seven survivors out of some 1,400 people on the ferry. At the end of the film, we see Valentine on the television news that captured the rescuing scene. The film ends with a close-up of Valentine's face just after the rescue, which closely resembles the picture of her on the poster. The poster image, captured when the cameraman tells her to think of something disastrous in order to achieve a look of great sadness, is replicated in the television frame in the aftermath of a genuine tragedy. Although she is lucky enough to survive the disaster, as Geoff Andrew points out, we should not forget that the experience took away more than 1,400 lives.(39)
Insdorf cites Kieslowski's comment on fate with regard to the connection between the photo and the last image of the film: "Fate was pre-ordained: the image of her existed before the catastrophe. Maybe there is fate, an image that has to repeat itself."(40) Insdorf points out in detail that the last image of Valentine is the left profile in the same manner as the previously taken photo for the advertisement, and the gray sweater around her shoulder in the photo "foreshadows" the same coloured blanket wrapped around her in the scene of the rescue. Insdorf also notes a similar relation between a picture image and the real in other parts of the film. She refers to a painting of a ballerina in Auguste's room, observing that Valentine incarnates this image of female beauty when she arches her back in the same manner during her ballet lesson later in the film.(41)
The ferry accident finally brings Auguste and Valentine together. On the television screen that Joseph is watching, we see these two characters being rescued together. Among the other survivors are Julie and Olivier from Blue, Karol and Dominique from White, and one other, a bar man, whom we do not know. We finally see that all the major characters in the trilogy have been rescued. Some people may think that this resolution is too much of a coincidence, being too artificial that one ferry accident contained all the major characters from the three films as survivors. However, Kieslowski formed the idea from the opposite direction, wishing to make a series about survivors of an accident, just as he had decided to tell stories about residents in the same apartment complex in Warsaw for his Decalogue series. He says that everyone has a story that is worth looking into.(42)
In terms of the use of reflections in Red, Joseph's mysterious house offers a great scope. When Veronique visits Joseph's place for the second time, the camera captures her with two mirror images in the background. The camera also shows a clear life size image of her face on the glass of a picture frame, while Joseph talks to her about the relationship between Auguste and his lover. A strong effect is achieved by the strength conveyed in the reflected image against the more vulnerable expression on her actual face. The two disparate images are captured in the same camera frame next to each other, as if to portray the dual sides of her inner life.
Joseph's house, as a place to generate these reflections, may imply that Joseph himself has spent so long in reflecting his life and his potential lives. Auguste could be a mere product of Joseph imagining what his life would be like if he had been born decades later.(43) Kieslowski himself says: "we'll never be sure whether Auguste really does exist or whether he is only a variation of the judge's life forty years later." The next conversation between Valentine and Joseph may support this argument, for it suggests that, as a judge, Joseph has spent his life considering the lives of the accused from their viewpoints, using his imagination to interpret human behaviour in a multitude of different situations. The conversation is triggered by an incident of a stone thrown against his window. He has just denounced himself and he confesses that it is the sixth time that someone has thrown a stone at his house. While Valentine cleans up the broken window, he stays calmly on his chair, and then goes to the window. She inquires if he is not afraid. He replies, "I wonder what I'd done if I were them. I'd do the same." Valentine does not hide her surprise; "Throw stones?" He admits without hesitation, "If I were them? Of course. And that applies to everyone I've tried. In their situation, I'd steal, too. I'd kill, I'd lie. . . Of course I would. I didn't because I wasn't in their shoes." Joseph, in contrast to his first impression as an unpleasant, even cold-hearted man, appears to be a very compassionate person. He would have thought about what he would have done in his own life, if the situation were different. For instance, he may have imagined a happy marriage, if his first and last love had not died so young from an accident. Or he may have wondered about his life, if he had not passed the exam to become a judge. He may have become a judge only from the coincidence of dropping the law book, which opened at the page that gave the answers to the exam questions.
The doubled relationship between Joseph and Auguste is different from that of Weronika and Veronique. Firstly, their connection is not based on identical appearance. The doubling emerges because of the two men's similar life course and the coincidental things that occur in their lives. Another difference is that, as Kieslowski explains, Veronique and Weronika both have an intuition about the other's existence, while in Red, Auguste has no idea about Joseph, though Joseph knows about him. The director says that the film is about a question posed as to whether people are sometimes born in the wrong time by coincidence. It is strongly suggested in the film and by the director that Joseph and Valentine would make a good couple, if only they had been born in the same generation. Therefore, as Kieslowski admits, he uses the conditional mood for the story. That is, he explores the case of Joseph being born forty years later in the form of Auguste.(44)
In relation to the question of Auguste's existence, Insdorf cites her interview with the director at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival: "The theme of 'Red' is in the conditional mood. . .what would have happened if the judge had been born forty years later. . .. It would be lovely if we could go back to the age of twenty. How many better, wiser things we could have done! But it's impossible. That's why I made this film - that maybe life can be lived better than we do."(45) However, he also poses a question of whether the judge really exists. He notes that the tribunal is the only place that the audience see him with other people. He says that otherwise, "he could be merely a ghost, or better yet, a possibility - the old age that awaits Auguste, what might have happened if Auguste had not taken the ferry," that is, if he had not met Valentine.(46) After all, the answer for the question of whether Auguste is an echo of Joseph or if Joseph represents one of the possibilities in Auguste's life seems to depend merely on the perspective of the viewer, and the fact that Kieslowski gives two different ideas seems to suggest that it would not matter either way.
Joseph and Auguste's main problem lies in their relationship with their respective girlfriends. Auguste has a blonde, attractive girlfriend, who is a year or two older than him. It is revealed later that Joseph had an older blonde girlfriend, too. Asked about his lover by Valentine after her fashion show, Joseph describes her as follows: "A student, two years ahead of me. She was blonde, delicate. . .luminous. . . She had a long neck. Her clothes were pale. Her furniture was pale." Auguste's girlfriend congratulates him when he passes his exam to become a judge and gives him a pen as a present. It is implied that Joseph also received a pen from his girlfriend. When he decides to write letters to denounce himself, he finds that his pen is broken after many years of use.
Not long after Auguste passes the exam, he finds out that his lover is deceiving him. One night, after being unable to contact her by phone for a whole day, he drives to her apartment, eavesdrops at her door, and hears something, probably a man's voice. He climbs up to her window, which is two or three storey high and sees a man moving between his naked girlfriend's legs. The experience is basically the same as that which Joseph confronted decades earlier, though in this instance the image was caught in a mirror. The audience become aware of the repeated incident when Joseph confesses to Valentine about the day that he saw his girlfriend's white legs spread out with a man between them in her mirror with the white frame.
There are a couple of additional things that are common to both of them. One commonality is that they both live with a dark coloured dog. Secondly, just as Weronika and Veronique both favour Budenmajer's music, Joseph and Auguste also like his music. Another coincidence concerns a failure of their car batteries. On the night that August finds out about his girlfriend's adultery, he leaves his car lights on. Valentine notices that the battery is fading, as she looks out of her apartment window. Later, during her conversation with Joseph, he mentions that his car battery was low on the night before his examination to become a judge. The camera captures Valentine's attention in response to the comment about his battery. She probably associates Joseph's incident with her memory of Auguste's car battery, which leads her to a clearer awareness of the doubled life of Joseph and Auguste.
Joseph seems to have been aware of Auguste as his double for a long while, whereas Auguste is totally unaware of Joseph. Joseph even anticipates the end of Auguste's relationship with his girlfriend, while it appears as if they are still happy together. From another angle, there is a question about Auguste's existence. He may be a flashback of Joseph in a slightly deformed manner, or an incarnation of one of Kieslowski's repeated questions of "what if. . .?", as I mentioned earlier. What if Valentine were born some decades earlier? The apparently happy middle-aged woman in Joseph's dream prompts Valentine to ask more about the dream next time she sees him: 'In that dream. . .was there someone else?' Her curiosity appears to relate to her feeling of insecurity about her boyfriend. Joseph's dream does not identify the woman's partner even though Valentine feels that he has gained a kind of a prophet's power. The man who was lying beside her could be Joseph himself in retrospect, or it could be Auguste, for Valentine and Auguste seem to be fated to meet. The film catches many times when the two pass by and still do not notice each other. But when Auguste finally notices her, the look on his face is very serious. If Auguste was really an incarnation of Joseph's dreamt life with a real lover, Joseph should be happy to see them together on television after the ferry accident. In fact, he gives a subtle smile when the camera focuses him at the end.
However, what would become of the relationship between Joseph and Valentine, once Valentine comes back to Geneva? Insdorf suggests that the developing relation between Valentine and Joseph might result in that of a father and daughter, making reference to the fact of Valentine's father's absence and Joseph's isolated life without family.(47) It is doubtful that their relationship would grow in this direction, especially since Joseph regrets not having met Valentine in his youth. That is, he perceives her as an impossible but ideal lover, being highly aware of the age gap between them, which appears to be impossible to transcend. After all, the best he seems to be able to do is to watch his unaccomplished dream to be realised in his young self, Auguste.
Geoff Andrew uses the word "alter ego or younger self" to describe the August's relationship to Joseph. Andrew is also one of the many critics who suggests Joseph's role as "God." He argues that Joseph has been playing "God" to some extent, because of his extraordinary knowledge about the intersections of the people's lives around him through his eavesdropping habit.(48) However, Andrew also restricts the extent of his God-like powers, as Joseph is "neither omnipotent nor even omniscient." He says that Joseph rather "seems to 'direct' people, as if they were characters in a script which he then tweaks and turns into a finished film." In this sense, he sees Joseph as "some kind of self-portrait by Kieslowski."(49)
Again in reference to Joseph, there is not only the argument of his doubled relationship to Auguste, but also that of his rebirth through his encounter with Valentine. Andrew notes that Joseph is "reborn" through "learning to accept the mistakes and disappointments of his own past" by interacting with Valentine,(50) and Andrew finds the proof of his "regeneration" in his increasing gestures of warmth.(51) Insdorf not only finds rebirth in Joseph but also in Valentine and Auguste. She observes that the retired judge gains a second chance to be human through Valentine and that Valentine and the younger double of the judge, Auguste, obtain a second chance in the ferry crash to survive and "be 'reborn' together."(52) It is suggested through Auguste and Valentine's unspoken exchange that their relationship has the potential to develop, which seems to be celebrated by Joseph's smile at the end.
Chapter 5 Conclusion
As a concluding chapter, here I would like to mention the
connections between the three parts of the whole trilogy and also to examine
how the notion of doubleness contributes to link them together. Insdorf argues
that one of the penetrating themes throughout the trilogy is the subject of
second chance, as is mentioned in the above chapters.(53)
The idea of second chance is closely related to this notion of doubleness. In
fact, in a sense, the word, "double" can simply mean not being single
and/or alone, which may suggest another possibility, a "second chance."
In Red, Joseph is given a second chance to realise his dream through
Auguste. In Blue and in White, Julie and Karol recover themselves
and achieve love through their transformations after experiencing a disastrous
event: they start a new life by focusing on new aspects of themselves with which
to fight their way out of the predicament. Julie may not have survived if she
did not arm her vulnerability with an intentionally transformed self as a person
who is indifferent to the past. Karol manages to attain another face than the
one that he had worn as a hairdresser, enabling him to establish a fortune for
the sake of equality with his ex-wife. These films may show how fragile life
is but, at the same time, they seem to suggest that there is a great potential
within us of which we may not have been aware. If we look at things through
the perspective of doubleness, we may be able to access a clearer view of hidden
Insdorf regards the theme of sexual betrayal as a connection across the trilogy.(54) In Blue, Julie finds out that her past husband had a mistress, and in White, Karol discovers that his ex-wife has a partner. Julie and Karol overcome the hurtful experience, while Joseph seems not to have been able to transcend his past to begin a new life.(55) Auguste seems to have the potential to establish a new life, when he finally meets Valentine through the ferry crash, after his painful experience of witnessing his girlfriend making love with another man. Perhaps it is Joseph's regret about his life that motivates him to closely watch his double figure's life. Maybe he is a little relieved in seeing his double lead a better life, and that is why he smiles at the end when Auguste finally encounters Valentine because she represents the woman whom Joseph himself never met in his younger days.
Andrew comments on the shared theme across the trilogy as follows: "Each Three Colours film focuses on a solitary character or characters who are inherently 'good' but who have somehow, due to a traumatic change in their lives, lost their way. . . A crucial step, for each, is to learn from the errors and disappointments of the past, and then to set aside the past so that they may get on with living out the present."(56) This theme may also extend from Three Colours to The Double Life of Veronique, in which Veronique gains wisdom that her heart condition would be fatal if she continued singing through the mysterious connection with Weronika who died in the middle of her career.
The recurring scene with an old person trying to put an empty bottle into a recycle bin in Three Colours offers another connection with The Double Life of Veronique. In the latter film, an old woman appears both in Poland and in France. In Poland, Weronika sees a woman carrying bags and offers help, but ends up not helping her. In France, Veronique finds a woman walking away with a stick. In Red, the old person actually gains help in the trouble. After Weronika, Julie and Karol fail to help the person, Valentine simply goes towards the person and stretches her arm to put the bottle in the bin. This gesture seems to be fitting as the concluding work of the Three Colours, which unfortunately turns out to be Kieslowski's last film. Referring to these scenes with an old person, Insdorf cites Kieslowski's comment on his intention at the 1994 New York Film Festival: "All I want to say is, 'You can help an old woman who is too old to get the bottle in.' It's just a reminder that someday, we too might be too old to push a bottle into a bin."(57) In this sense, the old woman can be seen as a double figure of each member of the audience in a conditional mood, by showing a glimpse of what we might become when aged. The connection extended across generations presented in Red seems to find its extension in the whole trilogy and in The Double Life of Veronique.
Finally, although this aspect could not be examined in this paper, there are further strong connections within Three Colours and also between the trilogy and Kieslowski's other films such as Camera Buff, No End, Decalogue, and The Double Life of Veronique. Some of the characters in these films are considered to reflect the life of the director himself strongly, like a double. Moreover, Zbigniew Preisner, the musical director of many of Kieslowski's major films has a double in the films, who is named, "Van der Budenmajer." Therefore, Preisner connects different works of Kieslowski not only through his music, but also this double figure who appears mischievously in various films in different manners. Considering these, the idea of doubleness seems to transcend the framework of Kieslowski's film world and to extend its existence to the relationship between the film makers and their creations.
1.This paper is a revised version of a part of my master's thesis, "An Exploration of Doubleness through Kieslowski's Films and My Theatre Practice," which has been submitted to the Graduate School of Edith Cowan University in Australia. The Edith Cowan University Library holds a copy of the thesis.
Chapter 1 Introduction
2.Krzysztof Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski
3.Kieslowski reveals that his initial motivation to study in the Lodz Film School was to become a theatre director, but he had lost interest in theatre by the time he succeeded in passing the entrance examination of the School at his third trial. (Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 22-23.) Later, he only once produced a play, which is named Curriculum Vitae based on his film under the same title. According to Kieslowski, he found the form of theatre totally unsuitable to his temperament. (Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 62.)
4.Paul Coates, "Kieslowski and the Crisis of Documentary," Lucid Dreams 44.
5.Christopher Garbowski suggests perceiving the Witek at the beginning of the film in the scene of the plane's explosion "as 'imagining' two alternative lives for himself just before he dies." Christopher Garbowski, Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalogue Series: The Problem of the Protagonists and Their Self-Transcendence 26.
6.See Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 212.
7."Interview - Three Colours Trilogy." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_kieslowski_interview.htm.
8.See Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 212. See also Geoff Andrew, The 'Three Colours' Trilogy 21 and Annette Insdorf, Double Lives, Second Chances - The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski 139.
9.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 220.
Chapter 2 Three Colours: Blue
10.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski
11.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 150.
12.Insdorf, 141, 169.
13.Cf. James M Wall, "Blue," The Christian Century 16 March 1994: 267.
14.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 216.
15.Wall, "Blue," 267.
16.Roger Ebert, "Blue," http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_blue_review.htm.
17.Wall, "Blue," 267.
18.Richard Corliss, "Blue," Time 142.24 6 Dec, 1993: 90.
20.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 216.
21.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 215-216.
23.Julie's mother has a television in her room in her pensioner's home. She seems to spend hours watching the television. (She is watching television both times when Julie goes to her place.) She says, "I'm very happy here. I have a television. You can see the whole world. Do you watch it, too?" Julie explains to her mother that it is not her habit to watch television.
24.After finding about Patrice's girlfriend, Julie wonders what would have happened if she accepted the file: "If I had taken it, I would have known. And if I had burnt it, I would never have known." Here is repeated again one of the most frequent themes in Kieslowski's films, "what if. . .?"
25.Here are some examples of this kind of confusion in Kieslowski's other films. At the beginning of Decalogue 3, Janusz in a disguise of Saint Clause says Merry Christmas to Krzysztof in Decalogue 1 at the doorstep of the apartment building. Krzysztof replies, "I didn't recognise you." As we have seen already, Julie's mother repetitively confuses her daughter with her sister. Referring to the scene at Lucille's strip bar, the image of Julie on the television screen is not very clear, and it makes Lucille to ask her if it is really Julie herself. In The Double Life of Veronique, Veronique overlooks her identical double figure in Krakow when she is taking a photo of her. She also does not recognise her in the photo development after coming back to France, until Alexandre, her boyfriend, draws attention to it. Even then, Alexandre confuses her with her double, Weronika.
27.Andrew, 88, note 14.
29.David Bromwich, "Blue," The New Leader 11 April 1994: 20-21.
30.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 147.
Chapter 3 Three Colours: White
31.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski
32.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 217.
33.It is also revealed in the film that it is not only Karol who seeks equality. For instance, in the scene where Mikolaj says that he does not want to be killed any more after the blank shot, Karol tells him that everyone suffers. Mikolaj admits it, and says that he wanted to suffer less. For him to suffer as much as everyone else is not enough.
36.His profession is actually an "image-changer," a hairdresser.
Chapter 4 Three Colours: Red
38."Interview - Three Colours Trilogy."
42.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 146.
43.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 218.
44.Kieslowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski 218-220.
45.Insdorf, 175. Kieslowski refers to the same point in his Kieslowski on Kieslowski 218.
Chapter 5 Conclusion
55.Joseph tells Valentine that he has not been close to any women ever since he was deceived by his first girlfriend.
- Primary Sources -
Camera Buff. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Wielislawa Piotrowska, 1979. 35mm, 112min.
Blind Chance. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Jacek Szeligowski, 1981. 35mm, 122min.
No End. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Ryszard Chutkowski, 1984. 35mm, 107min.
A Short Film about Killing. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Ryszard Chutkowski, 1988. 35mm, 85min.
A Short Film about Love. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Ryszard Chutkowski, 1988. 35mm, 87min.
The Decalogue. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Ryszard Chutkowski, 1988.
"Decalogue 1." 35mm, 53min.
"Decalogue 2." 35mm, 57min.
"Decalogue 3." 35mm, 56min.
"Decalogue 4." 35mm, 55min.
"Decalogue 5." 35mm, 57min. Television version of A Short Film about Killing (see above).
"Decalogue 6." 35mm, 58min. Television version of A Short Film about Love (see above).
"Decalogue 7." 35mm, 55min.
"Decalogue 8." 35mm, 55min.
"Decalogue 9." 35mm, 58min.
"Decalogue 10." 35mm, 57min.
The Double Life of Veronique. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Leonardo de la Fuente, 1991. 35mm, 98min.
Three Colours: Blue, White, Red. Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Martin Karmitz, 1993/4.
"Blue." 1993. 35mm, 100min.
"White." 1993. 35mm, 100min.
"Red." 1994. 35mm, 100min.
Kieslowski, Krzysztof. Stok, Daniela, ed. and Trans. Kieslowski on Kieslowski. London/Boston: Faber & Faber, 1993.
Kieslowski, Krzysztof; Piesiewicz, Krzysztof. Decalogue: The Ten Commandments. Trans. Phil Cavendish; Suzannah Bluh. London/Boston: Faber & Faber, 1991.
---. Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red. Trans. Danuncia Stok. London: Faber & Faber, 1998.
Darke, Chris; Macnab, Geoffrey. "Working with Kieslowski." Sight and Sound 6.5 May 1996: 16-21.
Mensonge, Serge. "Three Colours: Blue, White and Red. - Interview with Krzysztof Kieslowski and Friends about the Film Trois Couleurs -." Cinema Papers no.99 June 1994: 26-32.
"Glowing in the dark." Sight and Sound 4.6 June 1994: 8-10.
"Interview - Three Colours Trilogy." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_kieslowski_ interview.htm.
"Interview with Binoche." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_blue_interview.htm.
- Other Works -
Ghost. Dir. Jerry Zucker, with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Howard W. Koch Jr., 1990.
Andrew, Geoff. The 'Three Colours' Trilogy. London: British Film Institute, 1998.
Coates, Paul. Lucid Dreams: The Film of Krzysztof Kieslowski. England: Flicks Books, 1999.
Garbowski, Christopher. Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalogue Series: The Problem of the Protagonists and Their Self-Transcendence. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.
Insdorf, Annette. Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski. New York: Hyperion, 1999.
Abrahamson, Patric. "Kieslowski's Many Colours." Oxford University Student Newspaper, June 2, 1995. (http://density.com/metestudio/mete_kieslowski_many. htm.)
Bentley, Michael. "Film Guide -- Red Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski" Cineaste 21.1-2, 1995: 104.
---. "Film Guide -- White Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski" Cineaste 20.4, 1994: 64.
Berardinelli, James. "Blue." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_blue_review.htm.
---. "Red." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_red_review.htm.
Bromwich, David. "Blue." The New Leader 77.4 11Apr, 1994: 20-21.
Coates, Paul. "Exile and Identity: Kieslowski and His Contemporaries." Before the Wall Came Down: Soviet and East European Filmmakers Working in the West. G. Petrie and R. Dwyer, ed. Lanham: University Press of America, 1990: 103-114.
---. "Metaphysical Love in Two Films by Krzysztof Kieslowski." The Polish Review xxxvii.3, 1992: 335-343.
---. "The sense of an ending: reflections on Kieslowski's trilogy," Film Quarterly 50 Winter 1996/1997: 19-26.
Corliss, Richard. "Blue." Time 142.24 6 Dec, 1993: 90.
---. "Dazzling Decalogue." Time; New York 152.4 27 July, 1998: 61.
---. "Red." Time 144.23 5 Dec, 1994: 93.
---. "Three Colors: White." Time 143.26 27 June, 1994: 71.
Cornell, Katharine. "The Cinema of Ambivalence: Recent Films from Central and Eastern Europe." Cineaste 21.3 Summer 1995: 28-30.
Cunneen, Joseph. "Kieslowski on the Mountaintop: Ten Commandments from the Late Polish Director." Commonweal 124.14 15 Aug, 1997: 11-14.
---. "Plus the Movie Event of the Year…Film Festival." National Catholic Reporter 36.26 28 Apr, 2000: 22-24.
Ebert, Roger. "Blue." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_blue_review.htm.
---. "Red." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_red_review.htm.
---. "White." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_white_review.htm.
Frazer, Bryant. "Blue." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_blue_review.htm.
---. "Red." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_red_review.htm.
---. "White." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_white_review.htm.
Gliatto, Tom. "Red." People Weekly 42.24 12 Dec, 1994: 23.
Goodman, Mark. "The Double Life of Veronique." People Weekly 36.22 9 Dec, 1991: 20-21.
Harvey, Miles. "Poland's Blue, White, and Red." The Progressive 59.4 Apr 1995: 38-39.
Hift, Fred. "Red." Europe 344 Mar 1995: 47.
---. "White." Europe 341 Nov, 1994: 47.
---. "White." Video Age International 14.8 Oct 1994: 22.
Hinson, Hal. "Red." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_red_review.htm.
Hoberman, J. "Epilogue" The Village Voice. 41.14 2 Apr, 1996: 59-60.
---. "Urban Legends." The Village Voice New York; 45.12 28 Mar, 2000: 113-115.
Holden, Stephen. "Diving the Ways of God and Man: 10 Stories Rooted in Commandments." The New York Times; New York; 9 June, 2000: E16-19.
Horton, Andrew. "Between Spielberg and Tarkovsky: Searching For a Cinematic Middle Ground." Film Criticism 21 Winter 1996/1997: 2-7.
Insdorf, Annette. "An Affectionate Look at Krzysztof Kieslowski's 'Three Colors. . . White." Film Comment 33 Mar/Apr 1997: 46-8.
Iordanova, Dina. "Eastern European Cinema." Journal of Film and Video; Englewood; 51.1 Spring 1999: 56-76.
Johnson, Brians D. "Blue." Maclean's 107.3 17 Jan, 1994: 61.
---. "Red." Maclean's 107.48 28 Nov, 1994: 85.
Johnson, Robert. "Burdens of Identity in The Double Life - The Double Life of Veronique Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski." The Christian Century 109.6 19 Feb, 1992:196.
Kauffmann, Stanley. "Kieslowski's Commandments." The New Republic 222.26 26 June, 2000: 26-27.
---. "Red." The New Republic 211.25 19 Dec, 1994: 26-27.
---. "A Short Film About Killing." The New Republic 214.6 5 Feb, 1996: 26-27.
---. "White." The New Republic 210.24 13 June, 1994: 32-33.
Kehr, Dave. "Three Colors." Film Comment 30.6 Nov/Dec 1994: 10-17.
Kelly, Richard. "Wage warrior." Sight and Sound ns 10.2 Feb 2000: 22-24.
Kissen, Eva H. "The Double Life of Veronique." Films in Review 43.5-6 May/June 1992: 195-6.
Klawans, Stuart. "Red." The Nation 259.20 12 Dec, 1994: 778-780.
---. "Three Colors: Blue." The Nation 257.21 20 Dec, 1993: 778-780.
---. "White." The Nation 259.4 25 July, 1994: 137.
Kornatowska, Maria. "Polish Cinema (Cinemas in Transition: A Special Section on the Cinemas of Eastern & Cental Europe)." Cineaste 19.4 Fall 1992: 47-50.
Lundeen, Kathleen. "Pumping Up the World With Cinematic Supplements." Film Criticism 24.1 Fall 1999: 60-96.
Marsh, Christopher. "Krzysztof Kieslowski: Some Thoughts." http://www.colorado. edu/StudentGroups/fbolex/april96/kieslowski.html.
McKinnon, Arlo. "Preisner: Requiem for My Friend." Opera News 63.12 June 1999: 60.
Menashe, Louis. "Lisbon's International Encounters in Documentary Cinema." Cineaste 23.3 Summer 1998: 55.
Ottenhoff, John. "Kieslowski: Polish Roots, European Vision." The Christian Century 113.26 11-18 Sep, 1996: 850.
---. "Shades of Truth: Encountering Kieslowski's 'Three Colors'." The Christian Century 113.26 11 Sep, 1996: 848-853.
Pawelczak, Andy. "Red." Films in Review 46 Mar/Apr 1995: 60-1.
---. "White" Films in Review 45 July/Aug 1994: 54-5.
Perlmutter, Ruth. "Testament of the father: Kieslowski's The Decalogue." Film Criticism 22.2 Winter 1997/1998: 51-65.
Perlmutter, Ruth; Perlmutter, Archie. "A Testament to Krzysztof Kieslowski." Film Criticism 21 Winter 1996/1997: 59-61.
Poks, Malgorzata. "Kieslowski Bez Konca." Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 15.2 June 1995: 321-322.
Rabinowitz, Carla Barringer. "St. Paul, Kieslowski, and the Christian Framework of 'Trois Couleurs.'" http://www.petey.com/kk/kiesdis3.txt.
Ragland, Ellie; Wright Elizabeth. "The Double Life of Veronique: An Inquiry Into the Existence of Woman." Psychoanalytic Psychology 10.3 1993: 481-486.
Ramsey, Nancy. "Kieslowski's Reasons for Living." New York Times; New York, N.Y.; 21 May, 2000: 24-25.
Revel, Sara. "An Analysis of How the Metaphysical is Created through the Cinematography in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours Trilogy." http://www.petey.com/kk/kiesdis4.txt.
Romney, Jonathan. "Three Colours Blue." New Statesman & Society 6.274 15 Oct, 1993: 34.
---. "Three Colours: Red." New Statesman & Society 7.328 11 Nov, 1994: 33.
Sampaio, Gerard. "Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours Trilogy." http://www.
Simon, John. "White." National Review 46.13 11 July, 1994: 62-63.
Taubin, Amy. "Death Be Not Proud -- A Short Film About Killing Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski." The Village Voice 40.52 26 Dec, 1995: 70.
Taubin, Amy. "Film -- A Short Film About Love Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski." The Village Voice 41.1 2 Jan, 1996: 52.
Travers, Peter. "Controversy in Three Colors." Rolling Stone 702 23 F2b, 1995: 80.
Wall, James M. "Blue." The Christian Century 111.9 16 Mar, 1994: 267.
---. "Blue." The Christian Century 112.9 15 Mar, 1995: 283-284.
---. "Immutable Truths: Inescapable Commandments." The Christian Century 113.32 6 Nov, 1996: 1059-1060.
---. "Krzysztof Kieslowski: I'm So-So." The Christian Century 113.27 25 Sep, 1996: 883-884.
---. "Polarized, Satirized." The Christian Century 113.27 25 Sep-2 Oct, 1996: 883-884.
---. "White." The Christian Century 111.9 16 Mar 1994: 267.
Weinstein, Harvey. "In Memorium - Krztsztof Kieslowski: To Smoke and Drink in L.A." Premiere, June 1996. http://www.petey.com/kk/smkdrnk.txt.
Wilmington, Michael. "The Long Decade's Journey into Light ('The Decalogue' by Krzysztof Kieslowski)." Film Comment 36.2 Mar/Apr 2000: 9-10.
"Cannes Film Festival: Asian Challenge." The Economist 331.7865 28 May, 1994: 88.
"La Double Vie de Veronique." http://dencity.com/metestudio/mete_veronica.htm.
"La Double Vie de Veronique." http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~zbigniew/ Kieslowski/Kfeatures.html#Weronika.
"Films - Three Colors: Red Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski." The Nation 259.20 12 Dec, 1994: 738-739.
"Krztsztof Kieslowski." The Economist 338.7958 23 Mar, 1996:91.
"Picks & Pans - White Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski." People Weekly 42.2 11 July, 1994: 14.
"Zbigniew Preiser." http://www.preisner.com.
"Zbigniew Preiser." http://apollo.lpg.fi/preisner/info.html.
"Double," "Doubleness," "Dualism," "Duality." The Oxford English Dictionary. 1989 ed.
"Double." Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English. Tokyo: Kaitakusha, 1974 ed.
"Dualism." The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Ed. R.E.Asher. Pergamon Press Ltd, 1994.