Krzysztof Kieslowski – Zyciorys AKA Curriculum Vitae (1975)

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a description by one of IMdB members:
This is such a strange and peculiar film. I had assumed it was a documentary and as such seemed to combine two Kieslowski strains – the meeting and the personal narrative. I kept thinking, as the man who was testifying before a Party Committee which was going to decide whether or not to expel him from the Party. As he tells his story, the curriculum vitae or ‘Life Story’ of the title, I kept thinking this was such a perfect Kieslowski story that he couldn’t have done better if it was scripted.

As it turns out ZYCIORYS was scripted. As far as I’ve been able to discover, the story the man tells was scripted, though based on actual experiences. How precisely or what amount of fictionalizing is involved I do not know. The committee is supposedly real, run by the factory secretary, a man of suspiciously movie star looks. Again, according to the material available, they really got into their task, giving an authentic grilling to the fictional offender. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Klaps AKA Slate (1976)

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a description by one of IMdB members:
When a director films, or ‘takes’ a shot, each is identified by having a ‘slate’ or ‘clapperboard’ with the information regarding the shot written in – what shot number it is and which take it is. The clapper is used when making a sound take, the visual information of the clapper closing synchronized with the jump on the graphic read out of the sound track. The sound and visuals are recorded on different media and this is necessary to match sound and visuals or else everything would look like a poorly synced cheapo chopsocky epic. When it comes to editing the final film the states are all cut out of the film. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Personel (1976)

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Friendship, loyalty, art and ambition collide in the life of Romek, a young Polish costumer working on his first professional production in a state-run repertory company. When his best friend Sowa is fired because he argued with a senior performer, Romek tries to defend him. In a moment of triumph, he sees his works being worn during a premier performance but then is called into the office to sign a paper denouncing his friend Sowa. He must sign, or lose his job. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Gadajace glowy AKA Talking Heads (1980)

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a description:
It is 1979. Krzysztof Kieslowski runs a sort of sociological poll. Seventy-nine Poles, aged seven to 100, answer three questions: When were you born? What are you? What would you like most? They want similar values: freedom, justice, democracy. We watch people thinking honestly, “latching on to something Good”, as one of the persons in the film says. From those registered on tape, Kieslowski chooses 44 people and puts them in chronological order: from a one-year-old who can’t speak yet, to a 100-year-old woman who can’t hear the question, but repeats several times that she’d like to live longer. He shows a whole gallery of talking heads – kids, pupils from primary and secondary schools, students, a full-time activist with a youth organization, an engineer on the threshold of his professional career, an electrician, a nurse, a priest, a history teacher, a mother of two, a writer, a sociologist, a sculptor, a taxi driver, retired people, a woman who thinks that above all she is Catholic, and a chemical engineer who acknowledges questions with: “these days I drink, everything’s fine.” On the level of image nothing in particular is happening. Simple heads come one after another, under which there is information about the date of birth. Yet this gallery fascinates, for two reasons: the viewer observes how people’s dreams change with age. At the beginning a funny two-year-old boy wants to be car – a Syrenka, and at the end, an almost one-hundred-year-old woman, having recently lost her husband, doesn’t want anything more. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki film o zabijaniu AKA A Short Film About Killing [+Extras] (1988)

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(Noel Megahey, DVD Times)

A Short Film About Killing started out as the fifth episode of Dekalog (Decalogue/The Ten Commandments), a series of ten short films co-written and directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski for Polish television in 1988. Dekalog 5: Thou Shalt Not Kill when expanded to a feature length film as A Short Film About Killing, loses none of its power and remains one of the most important and intensely powerful episodes from a cycle of films that dealt with many complex issues affecting our daily lives. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki film o milosci aka A Short Film About Love (1988)

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Krzysztof Kieslowski’s A Short Film About Love is a companion piece not only to the landmark 1988 Dekalog miniseries, from which this expanded version originally came, but also the likewise enriched and deepened A Short Film About Killing. (It’s worth noting here that even if you’ve already seen the segment this film is based on in its original form, side-by-side with the other nine parts, the radically different and far more redemptive ending makes Love worth seeing separately.) Like all the episodes of the Dekalog, it purports to take its inspiration from one of the Ten Commandments, but in practice the segments only deal with a rigid moral law in the most obtuse and poetic way. Love dealt with the sixth commandment (against fornication), but the story of Tomek, a late-teen voyeur obsessed with Magda, a voluptuous and sexually mature woman living in an apartment across the courtyard from him, is far less brusque than its textual antecedent would indicate (though Kieslowski’s viewpoint certainly stresses a strain of auteurist omniscience and acumen). Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Bylem zolnierzem AKA I Was a Soldier (1970)

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a description by one of IMdB members:
A group of veterans recount a horrifying experience when trapped in a minefield, resulting in each losing their sight.

This is an incredibly powerful anti-war film, showing the horrors of war first hand, in stark close-ups without gratuitous gore. The physical injuries are not quite so emphasized as much as the emotional scaring, with the soldiers expressing their deep regret and longing for a better quality of life.

The film is edited in such a way that story becomes one detailed account, with each character providing his piece of the story. Their collective suffering seems akin to witnessing an AA meeting, except that this group wish to make it clear to the world that they were victims of misguided patriotism, with no control over their fate. Read More »