Kieslowski on Kieslowski Paperback – 11 Jul 1994
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very lousy edition. You are paying 30€ just for some xerox copies of the original book. The pictures look very foggy, just like xerox copies. Read morePublished 13 months ago by jota
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