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Kieslowski on Kieslowski Paperback – 11 Jul 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Danusia Stok; Main edition (11 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571173284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571173280
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Kieslowski is frequently cryptic in his responses to journalists, refusing to respond to questions about the meaning of a particular film. But in [this] fascinating new book, he reveals a little more of himself, and while his pessimism sometimes surfaces in odd, self-deprecating ways, the artist's warmth trickles through, too . . . Throughout the book, Kieslowski's practical observations about filmmaking suggest a concern for young filmmakers, an acute mind, a somewhat sad disposition, and a profound skepticism that nevertheless cracks open in the face of art, revealing a man capable of brilliant insight and poetic vision . . . An engrossing read for film buffs, students, or anyone interested in the cultural history of Eastern Europe."--" --" "Stok has done a fine job of translating Kieslowski's Polish into idiomatic English without losing his personal tone of voice." --"Sight & Sound"

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Format: Paperback
This is the best book currently written on Kieslowski- surely one of the best film director's of all time? (though perhaps not as good as Bergman-Welles-Hawks-Eisenstein-Kurosawa- but time will tell!). Stok's book takes us through Kieslowski's life, from a childhood seemingly out of 'The Magic Mountain' to documentary filmmaking in Communist-occupied Poland (the story about Kieslowski's method of avoiding being in the army is hilarious!). We learn about his early life, then the foray into cinema- such as 'Camera Buff', 'Blind Chance' & 'No End' (all impossible to see in the UK- the second ripped off for the mediocre 'Sliding Doors'). We then move to his career-defining 'Dekalog' (which I first saw on BBC2 by accident) and the cinematic extensions: the short films about killing & love. We get some great anecdotes & photographs; a revealing section on 'The Double Life of Veronique' and finally, a short overview of the 'Three Colours trilogy' (which he was editing at the time of this books conception). The only flaw is the lack of material on the 'Three Colours' and the abscence of Kieslowki commenting on his intention to write films based on 'The Divine Comedy'. Much better than the good value pocket essentials; this is the book for the major fan of the late, great Kyzsztof Kieslowski.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on interviews between the master Polish film-maker and editor/translator Danusia Stok, Kieslowski On Kieslowski comes across as something of a stream of consciousness from the man – some of the subtleties in his thinking perhaps getting 'lost in translation’ – but what the book lacks in 'professional literary polish’ it more than makes up for in an authentic passion expressed for the personal, political and artistic. Compiled just after the completion of Three Colours Blue, but before White and Red (although all three films are discussed), we get ‘accounts’ of all Kieslowski’s work, from his early documentaries through to the later fiction films, with varying degrees of analysis of the work in question (as the man has the tendency to ‘wander off’ onto related, or not so related, topics).

Unsurprisingly, what comes across is that the man’s approach to film-making has been heavily influenced by the oppressive political regimes in 60s/70s/80s Poland, giving rise to much criticism of these systems (whilst recognising that not all his fellow countrymen should be tarred with the same brush). Oddly enough, the film-maker is also of the view that the 'political control’ exerted during his Polish period still allowed for greater artistic freedom than would be the case under Hollywood’s overbearing 'capitalistic strictures’ i.e. box office at all costs. Other themes which emerge are the man’s trademark self-deprecation ('I haven’t got a great talent for films’) and his dismissive attitude to the ‘over-reading’ of his films ('A bottle of spilt milk is simply a bottle of spilt milk’). There is no denying the man’s love of cinema, though, saving his greatest praise for Tarkovsky, Bergman, Fellini and Loach’s Kes.
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Format: Paperback
In his own words, Krzysztof Kieslowski tells you about the agony and the ecstacy of the independent filmmaking process.

The late Polish filmmaker is up to the challenge, delivering his characteristic frankness nestled within the pages of this short retrospective work, narrated in his own words, and magnificently edited (translated, too?) by Danusia Stok.

The book is tailor-made for "idie" filmmaking buffs, and supplies a glimpse into the enticingly magical personality which was Kieslowski's. Eschewing a typical rote autobiographical style, Kieslowski divulges key details about himself via the device of his extensive filmography -- revealing things about his thinking process and the high value he places upon delicate human emotionality through a step-by-step examination of his long filmography.

Spanning his early years as a prominent documentary filmmaker during the stifling years of Polish Communism and state censorship -- especially during the imposition of Marshal Law in Poland during 1980-1 when Kieslowski couldn't work for half a year -- and ending with his magnificent trilogy "Barwy" (Three Colours: Blue, White, Red), we're subjected to a feast of Kieslowski-isms regarding his thoughts pertaining to such diverse notions as:

** casting for acting talent.

** Kieslowski's penchant for making his ENTIRE crew a part of the idea-generating process for his films.

** the nature of artistic filmmaking in Europe compared to commerical filmmaking in the US.

** the demands of time on a filmmaker's personal life.

** the differing range of skills between Western and Polish filmmaking crews.
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