Blue, white and red are colors that stand for the French people’s revolutionary slogan Liberté, egalité, fraternité (liberty, equality and fraternity or brotherhood). Blue, red and white also refers to the powerhouse film trilogy of Polish director, Krzysztof Kieślowski. Collectively known as “Trois Colueurs”, this powerhouse trilogy which might have been inspired by the French national colors and its representations are least political in nature, and instead takes on the more philosophical approach to moving pictures.
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Echoing the first French motto of liberty, Kieślowski presents BLUE with the basic reflections of freedom and the discovery of liberation in being alone. Presented very subtly, this ideal has potentials of seemingly being missed — quite typical of the trademark style of Kieślowski whose works have often been dubbed by critics as elusive and not easy to pin down. (Newall, 2005)
Blue, the first in the Kieslowski trilogy is a vivid symphony with strong shades of personal significance. The true merit of the film how it is rooted deep on human experience. The narrative follows the story of Julie, who has just lost her musician/composer husband and her daughter in a car crash. In this grim ordeal, she retreats into mourning. She moves into a new apartment, shuts herself from the world in an attempt to forget. However, tragedy heightens with unpleasant revelations about her late husband’s infidelity. She finds comfort in the arms of her friend Olivier, who happens to be madly in love with her. Together they work on completing the unfinished symphony of her late partner. Trying to finish the music, she finally takes the first step that will eventually liberate her from her past.
Throughout Blue, it is clear that, although blue may be the color of day for night–of the night of so much of the early part of the film-it is only the cousin of darkness, not darkness itself. (Coates, 1996-1997)
It is in this manner that BLUE is able to present, much more, dramatize the moods of melancholy, coldness as well as the process towards human spirit is rehabilitated and freed after going though a painful tragedy. With truly powerful visuals, Blue is even more made emotionally arresting as it plays on the sensory mode of hearing. Troughout the film, Kieślowski plays with sight and sound relations. Similar to the visuals, music and sound carried forth recurring motifs that help transport the narrative to deeper sensory experience. Towards the end of the film, the completion of her husband’s music will be her monumental release from the sullen.
Kieślowski, who through this film took Polish cinema to international spotlights, would always refer to BLUE as “the film being an illustration of the music. (Newall, 2005)
Towards the end of Blue, Julie comes to slowly draw herself nearer to her truths and in the process being able to accept her needs as well as her grief. The freedom then, that Blue deals with is not political but personal — a hope for liberation from memories of the unpleasant past. It simply tells us that letting go is the only way to begin again and allow the self to be free, at last.
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Newall, Paul (2005) Kieślowski’s Three Colours Trilogy, The Galilean Library Manuscripts. Web.
Coates, Paul (1996-1997), The Sense of an Ending: Reflections on Kieślowski’s Trilogy, Film Quarterly, Vol. 50 No.2.