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Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski Paperback – 8 Jan 2002


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Paperback, 8 Jan 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax Books; New edition edition (8 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786884746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786884742
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,670,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-1996) began as a documentarian who took on controversial subjects in Communist Poland in the 1960s and 70s. He gained international renown with his award-winning narrative films "The Double Life of Veronique" and the "Three Colors" trilogy ("Blue, White, " and "Red"). He also made "The Decalogue, " a celebrated series for Polish television. "Double Lives, Second Chances" remains the best introduction to a uniquely gifted artist. Annette Insdorfis a professor in the Graduate Film Division of Columbia University's School of the Arts and director of Undergraduate Film Studies. She is the author of "Philip Kaufman" (2012), "Francois Truffaut" (1994), and "Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust" (1983). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alan Pavelin VINE VOICE on 7 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an updated edition of a book first published in 1999, about the acclaimed Polish director who achieved world renown late in his career with Decalogue (1988). The updating is basically a 20-page postscript dealing with the influence of Kieslowski on later films.

The author, who knew Kieslowski, is a professor in the graduate film division at Columbia University. As the book's title suggests, she concentrates on the director's constant themes of the role of chance and fate in the lives of his characters: how small chance (or fated) events can profoundly affect our future, and how two people unknown to each other can be intimately connected. Typical of the "role of chance" idea is Blind Chance (1982), where the fraction of a second between just catching and just missing a train totally alters the protagonist's future life (a theme copied in the 1998 British film Sliding Doors), while typical of the "intimate connections" idea is The Double Life of Veronique (1991), where the soul of the Polish Veronika seems to transmigrate on her death into her French double. In all Kieslowski's later films people's lives interconnect, even if they never actually meet; for example see Three Colours Red (1994) where Valentine and Auguste often appear in the same scene but never meet, along with the main protagonists of Blue and White (1993), until the very end. A more complex example is Decalogue, where central characters from each of the ten parts often have fleeting walk-on roles in other parts.

The author gives numerous examples of these themes, and the chapter on Decalogue, which is 55 pages long, is particularly interesting in this regard.
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