4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"Kieslowski's Rear Window",
This review is from: A Short Film About Love [DVD]  (DVD)
This film makes me instantly nostalgic for 1980's Poland. I've never been to that country they call the "European Tiger" but such is the power of Kieslowski's film making that he captures something about his native country which reaches through the camera into our very heart and soul. When I watch his Polish based films, I feel like I'm a native, not just some tourist cineaste on vaccation for the duration of the film's running time.
Another thing that strikes me about this film after repeated viewings is the humanity of Kieslowski. He allows you to identify with Tomek in a way that is totally authentic and honest. There's no hiding the slightly creepy "Peeping Tom" aspect of his nature, no doubt born out of loneliness, but so too we recognise his basic goodness. And what is also effective is that we're spying on Tomek ourselves so we've intrinsically become voyeurs ourselves. We watch Tomek's every move as he watches Magda in her apartment and we share his pain and joy as he charts her life from the window in his room.
The music is a big part of how we understand the film's heartbeat. Preisner, a movie composer par excellence is at his very best with this beautifully modest film. His music here recalls the adagio from Mozart's Piano Concerto 23. The guitar strings that express the main theme are almost as delicate as the sound of Tomek's heart breaking when Magda humiliates him in her apartment.
"A Short Film About Love" would make a great double bill with Hitchcock's "Rear Window". Both films are lovingly made by two directors at the very pinnacle of their powers and whether we be in Hitchcock's studio rendering of Greenwich Village or Kieslowski's authentic Warsaw, both absorb us with their use of story and location. Both films are love letters to the medium of cinema and the fact that so much action takes place in stationary settings only heightens the brilliant ingenuity of both directors.