Uncle Borges | Via Lungomare 6 | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SO FAR THE DVD EVENT OF THE DECADE!
No need to heap more praise upon Kieslowski, one of the greatest masters behind the camera. Just wanted to uncork a flood of this for this nothing short of phenomenal DVD set harvested by the "Kino video" film thoroughbreds! Each of these DVD titles has features aplenty to consider the entire edition a cultural event of the first water ---Kieslowski' rare shorter footage films are added on each of the titles; each title includes interviews with closest associates, friends, critics etc. It seems like that even the critics got inspired -being awara that they are paying tribute to a master that stand on equal footing to a Tarkovski, Fellini or Kurosawa to name but the cream of the crop.
All DVD's from the set are rented relentlessly, around the clock, at least in the video store I frequent. It makesone joyous to see that there's so many film fans hungry for the REAL THING (as opposed to the abominable, unmentionable, ever worse and more offensive Hollywood drek ;-)
Kieslowski collection . . .
David Oberlander | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A dirty Warsaw frames A Short Film About Killing, symbolizing a society in decay. Murder . . . both state sanctioned and random are shown in counterpoint. The film is a powerful indictment about the death penalty, and the barrister reflects the outrage of the heart. The second theme is random chance . . . if only the killer's sister hadn't been killed, if only he had a good friend to talk to, if only someone had intervened. The film is so hard to watch because it reflects the mirror back at our souls.
Voyeurism, love and loneliness mingle in A Short Film About Love. Love, the special world, cannot be approached directly, but only tangentially . . . in the film's case, through the lens. Where Tomek begins as an impassioned voyeur, his love interest takes over as the film progresses. Do we only need a fleeting glimpse to arrive at love? How do we escape from being alone in the world? Such universal question are asked(and answered) in this expanded film version of The Dialogue classic.
Blind Chance is fantastic. Absolutely great. The themes of free choice and predetermination are explored not as opposites but as two qualities somehow blended together. When we think, "ah, I can choose," are we correct, or does each cosmic choice imply similar outcomes, similar problems? If we have three choices, are they really so different? Is the bad choice so bad? On the extra selections, check out the fascinating interview with his film censor, whom he respected so much she became a sort of creative sounding board for his works in progress, while at the same time examining his work in her `official capacity.'
No End is obviously a precursor to Blue . . . where the dead(sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorically)live on, influencing events. There is no Black and White in Kieslowski's films, only gradations. Like Blind Chance, each position/argument on how to handle the case of the prisoner has their pro and con side. Truth or the true side of the prisoner is expressed by the deceased lawyer, revealed through his writings. Check out the short documentary The Office on the extras portion of the disc. It has comedy, wit, grace and tragedy(all in five minutes). It takes place in the black hole of an official state office where some hack drones on in a staccato tone to desperate pleas from several claimants. In this short(shot in film school), one can see the shape and scope of Kieslowski's future films.
On the extras of Camera Buff, Kieslowski's short documentary Talking Heads shows the humanity and hopes of ordinary people, and also of the filmmaker Kieslowski himself. Camera Buff works on several levels. First, it's laugh-out-loud funny(in parts). Second, it raises questions of putting somebody in the spotlight . . . and its implications. Like the dwarf worker or the communist functionary who loses his job. I see implications in news stories everyday . . . the power of turning the camera on ourself. This is Kieslowski's first "breakthrough film," and, perhaps it is here that Kieslowski first all incorporates all of the parts in the sum in combination making Kieslowski a singular genius. No other filmmaker or artist of any kind examines life in this manner, turning the camera inward."
Some of the best movies I have ever watched
G. A. Kaufman | The Hague, Netherlands | 12/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Each movie of the collection is a masterpiece, a refreshing experience, leaving a deep, intense after-taste. Do not miss them !"
Essential cinema: The Krzysztof Kieslowski Collection.
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 07/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roger Ebert calls Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-1996) "one of the greatest of all filmmakers." Best known for his film cycles Three Colors Trilogy (Blue / White / Red) and The The Decalogue (Special Edition Complete Set), Kieslowski explores similar themes (the hardships of Polish society, love and loss, faith and fear) in this first-rate Collection of his lesser-known feature-length films.
A Short Film About Love ("Krótki film o milosci") (1988) is an expanded film version of the sixth episode of The Decalogue, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," with a different ending than the original. A young man (Olaf Lubaszenko), obssessed with a stranger (Grazyna Szapolowska), spies on her through her window and eventually falls in love with her.
Blind Chance (1981), which later influenced the films, Sliding Doors and Run Lola Run, follows three separate story lines involving Witek (Boguslaw Linda) sitting on an airplane and overcoming obstacles while attempting to catch a train to Warsaw.
Winner of the grand prize at the Moscow International Film Festival, Camera Buff (1979) tells the story of a factory worker, Filip Mosz (Jerzy Stuhr), who becomes obsessed with his amateur film hobby. The film explores government repression of an individual's artistic expression.
Told from the point of view of a lawyer's ghost and his widow, No End (1984) is a political feature about the political trials in Poland during martial law. The film was Kieslowski's first collaboration with screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz and composer Zbigniew Preisner (The Decalogue; The Double Life of Véronique; Three Colors).
In its documentary-style portrayal of everyday life under a flawed system, The Scar follows the upheaval of a small town by a poorly-planned industrial project.
A Short Film About Killing ("Krótki film o zabijaniu") (1988) is an expanded version of the fifth episode of The Decalogue, "Thou shalt not kill." A brutal murder unites a drifter (Miroslaw Baka), a taxi driver (Jan Tesarz), and an idealistic lawyer (Krzysztof Globisz), reflecting Kieslowski's opposition to the death penalty.
For those wanting to explore Kieslowski's genius beyond The Decalog, Three Colors, and The Double Life of Veronique, this six-disc Collection (totaling 596 minutes) should not be missed.