Happy new year


Sometime during my sophomore year of college, I saw The Double Life of Veronique, the first Krzysztof Kieslowski movie I’d ever seen. I haven’t been the same since. The film mesmerized me even though I wasn’t even completely sure about what was happening within it. Sure, a big part of it was the luscious presence of the movie’s star, Irene Jacob. But the larger issue was the movie’s director. Before David Lynch, before Luis Buñuel, before Stan Brakhage, Kieslowski was the filmmaker who introduced dream cinema—movies that capture the alluring, frustrating, nonsensical dream state—to me, and made me realize what it could say to me that realist film could not. The movie is emblematic of Kieslowski’s oeuvre in that it beguiles and entrances, but is grounded in modern city life and has gritty, pugnacious wit. It moves beyond and beneath logic while being thoroughly rooted in the quotidian.

And so, to ring in the New Year with savoir-faire, to usher in the springtime, and to celebrate the Criterion Collection’s gorgeous new edition of Veronique, I propose a Kieslowski blog-a-thon. The dates: March 2-5, 2007. Be there or be square.

Let me know by email or in the comments box if you’ll be participating, and I’ll be sure to direct readers to your entry. Spread the word.

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation, RogerEbert.com, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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13 Responses to Happy new year

  1. Dekalog 1 comes to mind… Why not instead arrange a visit to Krakow and wander in and out the yellow columns of the Sukiennice, check into room 281 at the Holiday Inn, visit the Lodz film school and bounce a clear rubber ball in the basement corridor allowing the dust to fall on your face, sit on the bench near the cemetery in Krakow in the late afternoon sun and turn your head to view the world at 45 degrees, in fact do anything to get some fresh air in your life and allow ‘Chance’ to happen to you as Wislawa Szymborska spoke of in Love At First Sight? Whatever you do, have a good year, Kieslowski friend.

  2. brian says:

    Count me in. The Dekalogs have been my only viewing and this will give me reason to dig into his films more in the next month. The Double Life sounds fantastic.

  3. Andy Horbal says:

    I’m down. It’s not a matter of finding something to write about, it’s a matter of deciding which Kieslowski-related theme I’ve been meaning to write about for awhile now I’ll choose to finally address!

  4. Walter says:

    Fantastic, everyone! Andy: Your conundrum is precisely the one I have re: Kieslowski. Hence the blog-a-thon is an attempt to get me off my duff and write about him. Brian: Veronique is fantastic, but you’re a lucky man that your first exposure to him is the Decalogue. The 3 Colors trilogy is great, as well, as is his earlier stuff such as Camera Buff and A Short Film about Love. Alexandre: Thanks for the good wishes; if I ever have an opportunity (financial and time-wise) to visit Krakow, I’ll take you up on all your suggestions.

  5. scot says:

    I’ve really wanted to rewatch No End recently and try to write something up on that, so I would love the opportunity to participate if possible.

  6. Middento says:

    Wow, what a great idea. I’m in, if you’d like me.

  7. Ryland says:

    I will try to get something new for this event but in the interim, here’s a recent screengrab/photo essay on one of the fascinating motifs I found in VERONIQUE this last time I watched it:
    Born Under Punches: Veronique‘s Hands

  8. Adam says:

    I’m going to do a little Camera Buff write-up, since it seems to get nowhere near the recognition of Dekalog or Trois couleurs. It’ll be my first ever Blog-a-thon entry, but hopefully not my last.

  9. adrian chan says:

    Count me in — Kieslowski is up there with my all-time favorites, and I second the emotions tendered above viz the Decalog.
    I’m interested in doing a blogathon on films that thematize society through relationships, of the Haneke, Dardenne, Kieslowski, Inarritu, PT Anderson variety. But also including Nashville, Shortcuts, Kitchen Stories, Little Miss Sunshine, Crash… Films in which the situations are seemingly random/arbitrary and acts/events put characters in each others’ paths, at which point they respond with kindness, misunderstanding, or what have you. Sort of upside down Hitchcock films in which it’s not crimes people do for another (e.g. creating triangles), but good deeds…
    Interested anyone? Could be an homage to Altman.

  10. adrian chan says:

    ps — my name links to my social software blog. find me at my film blog: http://www.gravity7.com/blog/film/

  11. Squish says:

    For such an event, I went and borrowed a friend’s Decalogue. I may even write a review for each of these 10 short films. Either way I’m in

  12. Steve C. says:

    I’ve written a bit about Kieslowski over the past couple of years, but I hadn’t a chance to see Veronique until last night. I’d be happy to put up something about that, even though it’s probably gonna get more coverage than any other Kieslowski. (I could just contribute my short piece on A Short Film About Killing, but that’d be cheating.)

  13. Walter says:

    Hi Steve, and welcome. Veronique will probably get the most coverage, but seeing a variety of takes on that movie is fine by me. And cheating’s fine, too; I’ll add the link on A Short Film about Killing as well, if you’d like.

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