Since I first got a DVD player I’ve been waiting for Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy to be released. So many other classic films had been rendered to this format and the idea that these three movies were for so long unavailable on DVD was nothing short of criminal. The idea that one could purchase any number of Chevy Chase films and not Kieslowski’s master work was absurd.
At long last, all three films are available, separately or in a box set, and jam packed with special features including interviews with Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, and Irene Jacob, as well as behind the scenes footage, Kieslowski student films and film lessons and enough material to satisfy your average film geek. But more importantly, the films themselves are now able to be seen in glorious DVD format so that every emotive moment, every subtlety, every poignancy can be properly devoured.
I seem to always change my opinion as to which of the three is the best. Originally I thought the first installment, Bleu was the finest. Watching Juliette Binoche lose her family and retreat into isolation seemed to me to best capture the theme of Liberty, albeit in an ironic and painful way. But Blanc, the comedic, strange second installment just gets better with repeated viewings. At heart a love story spiked with revenge, Blanc shifts from tragic comedy to redeeming equality, ending with a truly sad and almost eerie moment that has left an indelible impression on this viewer. Rouge, the third and perhaps most ambitious of the three, has been most celebrated, perhaps rightfully so. It is a fantastic story of chance meetings and parallel lives that is enough to make one believe in fate. It was nominated for three Oscars and seems to be the enduring film of Kieslowski’s career, certainly a good note for him to end his life on.
Certainly it is difficult to choose a favorite of the three, which is why I would recommend buying the box set and watching these not as three separate films but as one.
Every artist dreams of completing such a project. Every painter, every writer, every filmmaker- they all have a vision and it is these visions that drive them. All too often they fall short and their work, as admirable as it may be, misses the mark. There is nothing about the Three Colors trilogy that falls short of wonderful. Anyone at all interested in the art of film would be remiss in ignoring these instant classics.