Mineshaft Gap

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

Chance Encounters.

Coincidence has been incredibly fertile ground in cinema history. It is bed rock of film noir, and Hitchcock used it throughout his however. It serves for great melodrama, we can all be afraid of accidentally running into Norman Bates. But for Kieslowski, the coincidence looks into the nature of the universe.

In nature, the odds of any occurrence actually happening are infinitesimally small. Two people in love today could just as easily never have met, and two soulmates may never be together because of the cruel trick that they were born 50 years apart. Red tells such a story, though that is but one of its threads. It is a tale of Valentine and a retired judge, and what could have been. But just as importantly it is the story of of man's redemption. Throughout the Three Colors trilogy, Kieslowski presents us with a character that has lost everything, and must regain a life. From a woman who loses both a family and the ability to feel, to a man that loses his wife and station in life and finally, importantly, to a man that has forgotten what it is to care for another living creature.

The trilogy's ending has been discussed at length, but to me the most important aspect is how it works not just to tie the films together, but to elevate the themes of Red. Placed last in the series, Kieslowski clearly sees this as the culmination, the ultimate of its expression. Therefore the ending works two fold. It is both a further rumination on the nature of experience and the miracle of any occurrence, and it shows the primacy of the judge's redemption. Each film ends with a transcendent moment: Julie crying in Blue, Karol and Dominique in love in White, and in Red they, along with Valentine, create the moment for the judge. In his face Kieslowski tells us that beyond the redemption of feeling and the redemption of love is the redemption of simple human compassion. Of the ability for the Judge to rejoice in life, perhaps for the first time in his entire existence. Kieslowski chose this moment to end his career: the judge feeling alive for the first time since his youth, and Valentine frightened, but importantly not martyred, as we had feared the entire length of the film. It is Kieslowski screaming to all of us: live!

0 Responses to “Chance Encounters.”

Post a Comment