The Decalogue (aka Dekalog/The Ten Commandments) remains one of the greatest things I've seen on TV- up there with The Singing Detective, Twin Peaks, My So-Called Life & Nuts in May- & evidence that great TV is possible & relatively low-budget filming (the scripts & films are all located on the same Warsaw housing block)can be mindblowing...
This book, with a nice brief foreword by the late Stanley Kubrick and a more detailed intro from Kieslowski, reads like a novel- Kieslowski and co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz write in wonderful descrpitive/novelistic detail and in small sections- great examples of effective screenwriting that any aspirational writer should read. Of course, the complete series and the extended features that came out of them (The Short Films about Killing & Love)should all be seen- but these scripts work as brilliant drama and a sign of what Kieslowski intended- it's interesting to compare the script to the final versions. My only quibble is that the Ten Commadments given at the start don't match up with the order of the films, e.g. Six: Thou Shalt Not Kill matches what would become A Short Film About Love.
A brilliant screenplay collection, regardless...
on 10 April 2013
I bought this book on the basis that my Artificial Eye DVD of the Dekalog (aka the only Region 2 version in existence) was not quite up to standard with the subtitles; you could tell the dialogue was truncated, and short verbal exchanges (most noticeable in Dekalog 9) were not subtitled at all. This book is a perfect redress to that. I've just started reading Dekalog 4, and already elements of 2 and 3 have been made much clearer to me.
Even for someone with a good subtitled version, this book is pretty essential because it allows for a real insight into what Kieslowski was trying to achieve with his mighty work, his writing style (excellently translated) giving away tiny little details that might have been impossible to get just through simply watching the films.
All in all, a must-buy for anyone interested in the works of Kieslowski, saddled with the AI DVDs, or just willing to give the works a look without actually watching them.