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Criterion does Kieslowski

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I noticed on the Criterion page that they've posted a teaser: Kieslowski joins the collection this fall!

Anybody know what it's going to be?

Tell me it's The Double Life of Veronique...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I noticed on the Criterion page that they've posted a teaser: Kieslowski joins the collection this fall!

Anybody know what it's going to be?

Tell me it's The Double Life of Veronique...

That's the current rumor flying around on DVD Talk and The Criterion Collection Forum. Criterion has said that they are working on said disc for Veronique...

Edited by Clint M

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Posted · Report post

"Three short documentary films by Kieslowski: Factory (1970), Hospital (1976), and Railway Station (1980)"

Excellent. I have not had a chance to see these yet. Short films must hold a special place in the heart of the Criterion folks.

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Posted · Report post

I have been waiting years to see this film and now I can own it along with three short documentary films and the other extras, nice.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tears of joy. Literally. Tears. This film means so much to me. And what an extravagant list of special features. Amazing.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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In case anyone is interested, there was a recent 2 DVD Polish release of Kieslowski's documentaries, all featuring English subtitles. With the help of the handy dandy Poltran translation site, I was able to snag one of these puppies before they went on backorder. In any case, they are supposed to be back in stock and available for purchase at the end of September at Traffic Club, and at the price of ~$24 including priority shipping to the US (took 3 days), I highly recommend picking these up. (The asterisked titles are my favorites from the set).

Disc 1

From the City of L

Edited by acquarello

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Awesome.

I've seen a few of those shorts too, but it was a decade ago at Facets and I can't remember anything other than the fact that they were very engaging.

This is the best news of my day.

If you buy one DVD this year....

-s.

Edit: Aquarello, the Polish DVD release is Region 2, right?

Edited by stef

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Sorry for the delayed response, but I remembered that there was something funky about the Polish DVD boxset so I wanted to check the actual discs. The box says Region 2, but when I check them on my R1-set MacBookPro using both DVD Player and VLC (these Intel-based macs aren't hackable for region setting, at least not yet), they play fine. I then popped them onto a regular R1 DVD player connected to the TV and it gives me an "invalid format" warning. So my guess is that these discs are in fact R0 (or at least R1 compatible) even though they're stated as R2, but they are also PAL, so they don't work on normal NTSC R1 DVD players. I suspect that they would play fine on an R1 standalone DVD player that can accept a PAL signal (I don't know if some players have this PAL/NTSC switchable option), but I don't have one available except for the computer DVD drive (which handles PAL and NTSC interchangeably) to test it out.

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Posted · Report post

I bet it would work on OS 10.4.3 on my G-4. The thing plays just about everything.

Wow, this is clearly a good kind of temptation for me, the kind of temptation I really deserve.

-s.

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Hmmm, just realized we already sort-of have a thread on The Double Life of Veronique here, except it's only got one post, and that, a brief one.

Anyhoo, I saw this film at the Cinematheque tonight; it was the first film (and, by now, possibly the only film) that I was able to catch during the 'theque's month-long Kieslowski series, and I hadn't seen it in something like a decade (when I watched it on VHS), so I figured I'd make the effort.

Loved the look (except when the picture got scratchy). Loved the sound (except when the soundtrack got scratchy). Loved the performances. Loved the scene where Irene Jacob spies the puppeteer in a mirror. Loved the statue of Lenin being hauled off to who-knows-where. Loved the scene where the guy blows his nose -- such an oddly humourous, almost out-of-place bit of mild bodily-function humour in such a high-toned artsy film. Loved the dwarf. Etc., etc., etc. But I'll be darned if I know what the movie's ABOUT.

The Lenin statue might offer a clue -- something to do with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the coming together of parallel worlds on opposite sides of that Curtain, in this case the worlds of Poland and France? Indeed, perhaps

the Polish woman's death

even signifies a sense of how Western Europe might learn from Eastern Europe's example? Or perhaps it signifies how one way of life is about to be overwhelmed, or consumed? On one level, this film seems too metaphysical for such a political reading. Then again, Kieslowski DID put that big Lenin statue in there, right at the beginning.

I also find myself wondering if there is any deeper significance to the name Veronique/Veronica. The name is sort of a remix of the words "vera icon", meaning "true icon", and the saint of that name is the woman who supposedly wiped Jesus' face with a cloth as he was being led off to Calvary, only to discover that an image of his face was now permanently imprinted on her cloth; the image on her cloth is considered a "true icon" because it was not made by human hands. Perhaps there is a sense in which Veronique is Veronika's "true icon", or vice versa, because BOTH of these women reflect each other PERFECTLY? I.e., one is not a mere painting or artistic representation of the other, but instead, one is a perfect embodiment of the other?

Something like that, anyway.

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Posted · Report post

But I'll be darned if I know what the movie's ABOUT.

So when will your one-and-a-half-star review of this movie be up at CT Movies? :)

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Posted · Report post

Hey, at least in this case I can sense that the DIRECTOR knows what it's about!

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Posted · Report post

Hey, at least in this case I can sense that the DIRECTOR knows what it's about!

zing!

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An experiment in making sense of the film, mostly because a friend of mine complained it couldn't be done.

Please do feel free to complicate things again. It's a lovely film, but discussion of it tends to be rather... brief and mystified.

I will admit I've made no headway on Peter's question: what is the film about? I think I understand how it functions, but if that adds up to something larger than the curious story of two beautiful women, I don't know what it is. I feel like it has to have something to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but every political metaphor I try to construct seems trite. Perhaps it's not really about the Eastern/Western Europe divide so much as that's one more means of emphasizing the unity/disunity conflict at the heart of the film. I think I would be all right if it weren't about anything else.

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