Mineshaft Gap

It's a screening log, no more no less. Maybe I'll have something interesting to say one of these days...

The Grandest of Epics.

When you see what heights it could fully achieve, it becomes even harder to watch the dregs that we call television. I used to say Lynch's Twin Peaks or Potter's The Singing Detective was what all TV should aspire to, but now I've seen Kieslowski's The Decalogue.

A series of 10 short films, all dealing with one of the Ten Commandments, Kieslowski's reflections on the nature of God and the Universe becomes the greatest epic I've ever seen by focusing on the miniscule. The films each focus on a simple story involving less than four characters. Each has a small event as it's catalyst, whether an affair, a teenage pregnancy or a childhood tragedy, things begin small, balloon to overwhelm a life and then project out onto all of us.

Kieslowski and his co-writer Piesiewicz don't use the framing for simple morality plays, they don't judge and none of the episodes are simple illustrations of a single commandment,many have to do with several, and some with all the commandments. This seems to be the major thesis that Kieslowski presents, humanity is struggling with every facet of morality every day, in both the mundane and the extraordinary.

As a director Kieslowski is amazing. His command of mood and atmosphere bests (yes bests) Hitchcock, and he controls pace to the nth degree. And included in the Decalogue is the best piece of liberal filmmaking I've seen, V: Thou shalt not kill is an amazing condemnation of capital punishment.

The best episodes: V, II, VII, and I. Though that's is like choosing the best songs on Revolver: every thing in the Decalogue would be the ultimate achievement of almost any other filmmaker.

I can't wait to watch more of Kieslowski's films.

0 Responses to “The Grandest of Epics.”

Post a Comment