Miramax Home Entertainment is proud to present BLUE, WHITE and RED, the acclaimed films by director Krzysztof Kieslowski. Hailed by filmgoers as some of the most absorbing, engaging, well-crafted dramas in recent memory, t... more »he box set of BLUE, WHITE and RED Each DVD disc includes lengthy bonus features. BLUE: Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient," Best Supporting Actress, 1996) stars as a young woman left devastated by the unexpected death of her husband and child. She retreats into the world around her, but is soon reluctantly drawn into an ever-widening web of lies and passion as the dark, secret life of her husband begins to unravel. WHITE: Sexy Julie Delpy ("Before Sunrise") stars in a mysterious tale of a man whose life disintegrates when his beautiful wife of six months deserts him. Forced to begin anew, he rebuilds his life, only to plan a dangerous scheme of vengeance against her. Winner of the Best Director Award at the Berlin Film Festival. RED: Irene Jacob ("The Double Life of Veronique") stars as a young model whose chance meeting with an unusual stranger leads her down a path of intrigue and secrecy. As her knowledge of the man deepens, she discovers an astonishing link between his past and her destiny.« less
"The late great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski cleverly "adapted" the three French ideals -- liberty, equality, fraternity -- into three thought-provoking modern-day dramas about people who cope with personal losses and tragedies. In BLUE, the first of the trilogy, a widow tries to set herself free (and gain liberty) from her emotional baggages. The second film, WHITE, is about a jilted man's outrageous plot to get even (thus, equality) with his ex-wife. The last film, RED, which is also Kieslowski's final film before he died in 1996, is about a lonely old man who is embittered by the memories of his youth and finds accidental companionship (fraternity) with a young model. All three films are understated in their tone, economical in their dialogs, elliptical in their editing and plotting (there are some mind-boggling flashbacks and flash forwards in WHITE), and haunting in their atmosphere. The references to the three French ideals are actually quite tenuous, and in fact more and more so as the trilogy progresses. BLUE is the only one that deals with the ideal of "freedom" (albeit emotional freedom) in a concrete way, inviting us to ponder its meanings and its attainability. WHITE treats the concept of "equality" in a rather subversive and satiric way, and it clearly wants us to rethink its meanings rather than accepting it at face value. And RED has to do with "fraternity" only circumstantially, and has more to do with the issue of destiny, and how our past is linked to our present. The three films are set not just in France, but also in Poland and Switzerland, and WHITE has primarily Polish dialogs. Hence, a sort of universality is intended. The three films are also linked in various ways. All three films involve an unfaithful lover who dies, in one way or another. All three films involve a chance encounter between the distressed protagonist and a sympathetic observer -- the widow and the mistress in BLUE, Karol and Mikolaj in WHITE, the retired judge and the model in RED. Both BLUE and WHITE are about people who move to new surroundings to escape from his or her troubled pasts. And RED, ironically, is about someone who never leaves his home in order to wallow in his self-pity. Kieslowski had done this sort of thing before. In 1988, he "adapted" the Ten Commandments into ten one-hour, modern-day dramas, collectively titled DECALOGUE, that make us rethink the meanings of the commandments. In the segment for "Thou Shalt Not Steal," for instance, we witness the kidnapping (the theft) of a child from her adopted parents by her natural mother, who thinks she has a right to her custody. Thus, it turns clear-cut moral ideals into real-world dramas that have no clear-cut solutions or judgments.Miramax released long-awaited Region-1 DVDs for the Three Colors trilogy, and they all have superb video transfers and rewarding extra material. Kieslowski expert Annette Insdorf provides excellent running commentaries for all three films. She analyzes the visual, aural, and editorial techniques, the thematic significance, as well as how the final films deviate from their original screenplays. She points out that Kieslowski films often deal with abstract concepts, such as fate, death, and grief, in very concrete ways. She makes an observant remark about the apparent twist of fate in the opening of BLUE: if the hitchhiker were picked up by the family, the ensuing tragedy might not occur. She points out that the dream-like wedding scene in WHITE, which many assume is a flashback, could also be a flash forward (a very interesting, and plausible, notion). She offers her interpretations to the many symbolisms in the films, such as the frequent fades to black in BLUE, the recurring shot of a stooped old person at a garbage bin, the significance of the concerto music in BLUE, the tango theme in WHITE, and the bolero score in RED. She also explains the intentionally cryptic endings of WHITE and RED. Each disc comes with several featurettes that comprise about 100 minutes of interviews and commentaries by the cast and crew, Insdorf, film critic Geoff Andrew, and film director Agnieszka Holland. The BLUE and WHITE discs also contain some early short films by Kieslowski: CONCERT OF WISHES, THE TROLLEY, THE FACE, THE OFFICE. All three discs contain a fascinating segment called "Kieslowski's Cinema Lesson," in which the director explains his intentions in one particular scene. The WHITE and RED discs contain behind-the-scenes footage of Kieslowski giving directions on the set. For Kieslowski fans, perhaps the most poignant clip in these supplements is that of Kieslowski announcing his retirement at the '94 Cannes festival, included on the RED disc."
One of the greatest cinematic experiences of the 1990s
Ed N | Kensington, Maryland USA | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Three Colors Trilogy comprises 3 superb films (Bleu/Blanc/Rouge) by the late, great director Krzysztof Kieslowski. The films use the symbolism expressed by the colors of the French flag for their themes (liberty, equality, fraternity). The Three Colors is Kieslowski's crowning achievement, and Rouge, his final film, is probably his masterpiece. That's saying something, because some of his previous films (Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique) are among the greatest films of the last 20 years! I saw Bleu (with Juliette Binoche) a long time ago and was very impressed. It's a sad but beautful movie, about a composer's widow and how she copes with life after his death. Blanc (with Julie Delpy) is about life for a man after he is unceremoniously dumped by his wife; it's the lightest and most comedic of the three films. Rouge (with Irene Jacob) is my favorite and explores the melancholy (and platonic) relationship that develops between a young lady and an older man. Jacob is quite simply a goddess, and if you can tear your eyes away from her long enough to pay attention to the movie, you'll find this is a thematically rich film with solid, subtle performances (Kieslowski was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for Rouge in 1995). I am lucky enough to own a DVD of Rouge which has a ton of extras (making of, deleted scenes, soundtrack samples, trailers, film-making lesson by the director, Cannes festival interviews, extended interviews with editor, director, and *sigh* Irene Jacob). I believe the upcoming Miramax DVDs retain these features (with subtitles), which are in French. More Americans should experience these films. They are so well-made and lovingly crafted that they put to shame all the multi-million dollar, shallow, explosion-fests routinely shovelled out by Hollywood nowadays. Next to Stanley Kubrick and Akira Kurosawa, Krzysztof Kieslowski's death in the 1990s is one of the most tragic for cinema. Younger filmmakers should hope one day to approach even an iota of the MANY brilliant masterpieces created of these film masters. Watch The Three Colors Trilogy! This is film-making at its finest and totally a 5 STAR recommendation!"
Three of the greatest films ever made finally on US DVD
Collin Kelley | Atlanta, Georgia United States | 01/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is absolutely shocking that it has taken so long for this trilogy of masterpieces to reach DVD. These are, without a doubt, my favorite films of the 1990s. The late Kieslowski was working at the top of his game and his presence in filmmaking is sorely missed. Blue and Red are my favorites out of the three, with Juliette Binoche illuminating every scene. Red (which is set in Geneva and not Paris as the amazon review incorrectly states)is a brilliant way to wrap the trilogy. Irene Jacob sparring with the great Jean Louis Tritignant in their lovely and heartbreaking scenes. There are so many wonderful moments, including the final moment when Jacob's face on the giant billboard becomes a haunting coda that will reduce you to tears...simply because it is shear genius on Kieslowski's part. Like his contemporary Wim Wenders, Kieslowski marched to the beat of his own drum and gave the world beautiful, if not always easy, films to cherish."
The Final Gift
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 04/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the Three Colors Trilogy(Boxed Set) DVD edition by Miramax.....
To give this trilogy 5 stars hardly begins to express the way I feel about this trilogy. The illustrious career of masterful film maker Krzystof Kieslowski is capped off by this wonderful gift he has left us with. Those of you that have seen it will understand what I mean when I say that once you have viewed these films, and the characters in them,they will stay with you always.
Although told as three separate stories "Blue", "White" and "Red" (the order in which they should be watched ), you will find a connection of life and happenstance relating to the main characters of each story. It should be viewed as one long story. Think of it as if going to a fine dining establishment, where the chef has prepared each course to compliment the other.
In "Blue", we get lost in Julie's world(Julitte Binoche), a woman who has lost all that is dear to her in a horrible car accident. Her husband, an acclaimed composer and her little daughter gone forever. She tries to shut herself off from the world, shedding material possesions and shunnung her friends, but is drawn back into life by some revealing facts she has learned about her dead husband.
"White" will draw you into it's web of intigue and passion, as a Polish man(Zbigniew Zamachowski) plans the ultimate revenge on his beautiful French wife(Julie Delpy)that he has lost but still loves.
"Red" is the story of chance meetings and fate. Do they happen by coincidence or do we unwittingly make our own destinies? Valentine (Irene Jacob) is a beautiful young model who's life takes a turn in a new direction when she accidentally hits a dog with her car. The dog belongs to a mysterious older man, whose past may be the answer to her future.
I have only given a short synopsis of each story, as they must be viewed fresh by the first time watcher. You will find them an experience you will want to relive soon and often. Kieslowski's unique film making style combined with the intricate camera work of Piotr Sobocinski, the lulling music of Zbigniew Preisner, beautiful screenplays by Kieslowski and Piesiewicz and a cast that turns in no less than stellar performances will move you like no other film ever has.
I used to watch these films, whenever they appeared on my cable Independent Film Channel. The DVDs sold singley seemed a little high priced, but now that they are in this boxed set at such a reasonable price, I jumped at the chance to own them. The discs are excellent. Terrific picture, colors and sound. They are presented in Widescrren and are in Dolby Digital Surround Sound. The subtitles are clear and distinct as well. Each disc has a wide variety of bonus material of it's own to check out(see tech info for complete list), but I highly reccommend viewing these films on their own first, and then again with the insightful commentary by Annette Insdorf.
I can think of only one other film that has had such a personal effect on me. That is "Schindler's List". If you have already seen these films, this boxed set is well worth the price. If you have not seen them and you really enjoy fine film making give these a try. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have.
For more wonderful views by this great director, check out The Decalogue (Special Edition Complete Set)
the soundtracks:Bleu: Bande Originale Du Film - White: Bande Originale Du Film - Red: Bande Originale Du Film"
Why I Love Film
Alex Junaid | Denver, CO | 10/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"High-concept filmmaking can be a dangerous endeavor. Too often, directors get overly bogged down in their own ideas or alienate their audiences with over-the-top stylization or sheer pretention. However, The Decalouge (a ten part television series dealing with the Ten Commandments, released in Poland in 1988) proved that Krzysztof Kieslowski was one of a rare breed. Along with writing partner Krzysztof Piesiewicz, he's able to fully dramatize his ideas and frame them with such visual and aural flair that harkens back to the golden age of filmmaking. So it fits that for his final project, he took on the unusual task of creating three films for France's bicentennial - each dealing with one of the colours on the French flag, and its corresponding attribute.
The first film in the trilogy is Blue, which is meant to represent freedom. Blue is the story of Julie (Juliette Binoche), the wife of a famous composer who had been creating a piece to commemorate the unification of Europe. However, at the beginning of the film, her husband and five year old daughter are killed in a car crash. Unable to bring herself to suicide, Julie instead leaves her former life behind in an only semi-successful attempt to reinvent herself, despite the love of a colleauge of her husband's, Olivier (Benoit Regent).
The second film (often argued to be the weakest) is White, symbolizing equality. White tells us of Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a polish man living in France. His french wife Dominique (Julie Deply) divorces him after only six months because he is impotent and even frames him for arson. Having lost everything, he returns to Poland, where a suicidal friend named Mikolai (Janusz Gajos) helps him create a strange revenge against his lover.
The final film (and by far the strongest) is Red, representing the ideal of fraternity. In Red, Valentine (Irene Jacob), a Swiss model living in Paris stumbles across an elderly retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who uses surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on his neighbours. Instead of being repelled, her nature causes her to form an unlikely friendship with this man, and their bond has echoes beyond themselves - most notably with Valentine's young neighbour, a fellow Swiss citizen named Auguste (Jean-Pierre Lorit).
Stylistically, each entry is unique. Blue is a stark tragedy, laced with long visual takes and very deliberately spoken dialouge. The score of the film - a haunting and delicate affair by Zbigniew Preisner - was written before the film was shot, so that the action could move to the pace of the music. This is an unusual technique, but it works gloriously and fits in context of the story, since music is this film's "MacGuffin," if you will - it's the way the characters communicate what they are unable to say. Juliette Binoche is really the only STAR of the film - she gets almost all the screen time and her performance is nuanced and restrained. She reveals Julie very slowly and very strongly fleshes out the grieving process one goes through in reaction to such a devestating event.
White, on the other hand, is a comedy, albiet with the blackest of spirits a comedy could have. Karol's antics are sometimes almsot Chaplin-esuqe; witness the scene in which he attempts to hide a gun in his pants. Zamachowski's Karol is both a fun, intruigiung character and a bitter, unsympathetic anti-hero, often at the same time, and he's matched by Julie Deply's performance. Her icy beauty belies a chaotic underside that manifests itself occasionally, as when she torches her salon to get Karol out of it. Edward Klosinski's cinematography accentuates the subtext of the film - the bright idealised colours of the Parisian streets are contrasted with the cold, but somehow more real browns, whites and grays of Poland.
Red, however, is the masterpiece. Neither tragedy, nor comedy, it's a tale of the human spirit - Piesiewicz called it "a film against indifference." It uses such devices as telephones, dogs and carefully shot near-encounters to tell the story of isolated lives. Irene Jacob's Valentine is the idealisation of the modern woman (person, really). She lives alone, her boyfriend is across the channel, her work friends don't truly understand her nature, and yet she is optimistic, sweet and honestly believes in the good in people. Her connection with the Judge is important for both of them. The casting of one time hot-male-lead Trintignant is clearly conscious. Now robbed of the vitality he once had, Valentine gives him a second chance as much as he reveals herself to herself. I wish I could say more, but I really wouldn't want to give the awesome nature of this story away. Visually speaking it's also the warmest film of the three and the use of light throughout is magnificent - there's a scene in which the characters stand in the light of the Judge's old house that's absolutely breathtaking.
Although one could view the three films individually, it's only as a whole that they truly make sense, and noting the connections - both cinematically and symbolically - is one of the best parts of the series. For example, all three films begin with a sense of motion, shrouded in the colour the film deals with. Blue opens with a shot underneath a speeding motorcar on a cold, rainy day. White follows a particular suitcase of note as it moves down a conveyor belt at the Warsaw airport. Red moves us along telephone lines, tracing the path of a missed connection. Likewise, each film concludes with one of it's central characters looking at the camera through a glass of some kind.
The nature of all three films, however, is about love. Blue and White are both somewhat harsh in their treatment - freedom clearly comes with a price, and the power struggles inherent in equality can lead to more conflict than they're worth. Julie is shedding her past and Karol is getting revenge - both antagonistic actions, but Valentine - even when faced with a repulsive character, as the Judge originally seems, is willing to look for the best in someone. Fraternity is about forming real human connections - a deep form of love that's what's truly valuable. This is illustrated best in one of the most concrete connections between the three films: each of the main characters encounters an elderly woman trying to fit a bottle into a recycling bin she cannot quite reach. While Julie and Karol both only watch, even if with a real human interest, Valentine is the only one of the three who helps her. The end of Red, however, gives us all hope. Without giving too much away, three couples - one from each film - are united amidst the most tragic of circumstances - saved from doom by fate or chance or God or whatever you believe - and their meeting ties up the ideals of all three films into one amazing package.
Movies like this are the reason I love movies. They're visually beautiful, dramatically accomplished and honest-to-God moving. If you can only see one, Red is one of the best films of the 1990s, but all three are VERY highly reccomended."