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on 21 August 2015
3 different approaches and styles and three different stories about human weakness, solitude, aspirations and problematic ways of life. Film blu is the coldest and most introspective, the white is the most free and surprisingly funny and surreal (still dealing with big subjects) while the red one is the most artistic. All surrounded by a sense of fate that pictures life like an unpredictable string of apparently casual yet strictly interweaved facts. Visually and cinematically beautiful, alternating experimental solutions and a total knowledge of classic cinema, and proving this Director is not just another alleged author
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on 14 April 2016
Red is my favourite film of all time. The trilogy just becomes more and more profound, brilliant, insightful and awe inspiring as years go on. The blu-ray print is just perfect, with colour being such an important aspect of the series, and remarkable cinematography in each, the transfers have captured every nuance and tone beautifully. cannot recommend this enough, cinema of the very very highest quality.
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on 23 June 2014
What's there to say in regards to the Three Colours Trilogy that hasn't been said before. Over the last twenty odd years critics, film scholers and audiences have disected pretty much every shot of these three sensational films.

Despite its themes of liberty, equality, brotherhood & destiny; its the basic necessities of the films that should make a film worth watching, and fortunately the great, and sadly late, Krzysztof Kieślowski, has taken each film and given a hand crafted collage of cinematic beauty, and emotion.

Blue deals in tragedy and reaching a sense of liberty through the duldrums of said tragedy. Julliette Binoche plays Julie a survivor, who tries to mourn the death of her daughter and husband, and instead decides to breakaway from everything which she held dear from her married life and start afresh. It is only through the journey of her liberation and the discovery of facts from her previous life that finally allows her character to be free, and mourn. The film is both a visual and narrative treat, Slawomir Idziak's cinematography is lush with beauty that constantly refers to its title. The blue and dark filters is brilliantly used to convery the sense of Julie's character. Binoche gives a powerhouse performance, easily the best of her career. Her interactions with the world and her spontaneity drags the audience with her on her journey of liberation. A beautiful and thought provoking film and my own personal favourite of the trilogy.

White: My own personal second favourite doesn't have the compelling nature and power of its predecessor, but like all great 'sequels', if its a tad different, then its mostly always a treat, and while White is different than Blue, it is no less inferior, its simply different. Dealing with themes of equality, the film is a darkly comedic tale of a down on his luck Polish immigrant, Karol, who is dumped by his French wife, Dominique, and left to rot on the streets of Paris. Only when he meets a fellow Pole, Mikołaj, and gets back to Poland (in a very hillarious way) does his luck begin to change. I find it hard to this day why some have chosen White to be the worst of the trilogy. Sure it gets kudos when mentioned, but the film clearly deserves a better reputation then it has received. Another factor I champion in this entry is the overtly political tone, the majority of White is set in 90s Warsaw, when Poland was still letting go of its socialistic soul and on the brink of becoming a free market economy, with Karol representing the shift in the political and economic structure by starting off as a sweet natured man, only for him to become a cool, ruthless and vengeful capitalist. The film is superb viewing, with sensational performances from both Zbigniew Zamachowski as Karol and Janusz Gajos (who gives the best performance of the film) as Mikołaj

And now we come to Red, claimed by many to be the best in the trilogy, but for me its the weakest entry. A masterpiece it is, but its no where near as good as the previous two entries. This time dealing with themes of brotherhood and destiny, Red tells the story of a young, naive and heartfelt model, and a bitter reclusive retired judge who form a touching and beautiful friendship. The film is certainly far more uplifting and less cynical than the previous two entries (although it doesn't have any of the dark comedy of White) And even though its great that this film again goes on a different route than the others; it just doesn't have the same impact like the previous entries; and, I think, its all down to one element, and that's Irene Jacob. Jacob's performance in Red is very similar to her last collaboration with Kieslowski, the slow and overrated The Double Life of Veronique. Jacob is simply too sweet and whilst her wide eyed innocence and naivety may seem beautiful, it does become saccharine and becomes infuriating. However Jacob receives strong support from Jean Louis Trintignant who is phenomenal as the bitter judge who finds happiness and closure through his freindship with Jacob's model. Where the film scores very well is in its themes of destiny, as told by the film's sub plot involving a law gradudate and his romantic relationship.

Ever since its release two decades ago, Kiewslowski's Three Colours Trilogy have left a mark on the history of cinema and has provided more debate amongst critics, film fans and even dinner party guests (who try and impress their peers) then some. Even though its undeniable to avoid the themes and tones the films convey, its great to just simply sit back and revel in the craftsmanship, writing and performances of these three wonderful movies.

One for the ages, and one to proudly own.
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on 3 November 2014
Gift
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on 3 August 2014
Fine product!
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As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of this 1990’s trio of Art House gems starring Juliette Binoche. And the 'BLU RAY' variant of it has long been available in the States and several other territories. But which BLU RAY issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release (simply called “Three Colors”) is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the Artificial Eye release (“Three Colours Trilogy”) is REGION B - so that will play the trio of “Blue”, “White” and “Red” (the three colours of the French flag) on UK machines - and it uses the same much-praised restored elements.

So check your player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release...if not opt for the UK released BLU RAY at a far healthier price…
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on 8 December 2006
New review posted 28/9/13:

***LOTS OF SPOILERS***

Three Colours Blue (1993)
It was more enjoyable than I expected. The pace was quick. It started with arty close ups on details - I found that to be slightly off-putting. Then about four minutes into the movie, when Juliette Binoche tries to take the pills, it became properly dramatic and affecting with an emotional punch to it. It dragged me into its world and I took to the film and got on its wavelength. Even the opening close ups paid off as there was a moment about twenty minutes in when she finds a sweet wrapper that echoes one we saw at the start. As we know what sort of memories it triggers the scene has an impact out of proportion to what we are seeing.

Not a lot happens in the film but there are a string of minor, low-key incidents to keep the film going. The pace is brisk, with abrupt scene endings and no meandering, and there are no pointless arty touches (with the exception of two close ups concerning her coffee).

The film isn't really about much, which makes the exaggerated heavyweight critical reputation seem more than a little over the top. It's a minor little film about a woman dealing with grief. There really isn't much more to it. A lot of the story elements don't amount to much and the movie tails off into nothing much towards the end. I dislike the last minutes with opera over images of various characters. It seems overblown and self-consciously arty were the rest of the movie is small and low-key.

I liked the film but the ending was disappointing as it didn't really lead to anything. Visually it's very nice looking and the acting is good from everyone.

7 out of 10

Three Colours White (1994)
The story is too random and haphazard to convince that it's a proper joined up plot. It lurches from section to section with little connecting the different parts together. Then it becomes rather twee and unbelievable with the lead character becoming rich and building a business empire. Also his friend wanting to be killed didn't feel right.

I hate the ending. It doesn't make any sense to me. He goes to such extremes to win her back and then has her arrested for his murder. It is too stupid and silly and illogical (faking his own death is both difficult and a long term commitment) so the details don't add up, and emotionally it doesn't work. The ending is very bad. I don't swallow any of it. It simply makes no sense to me.

It's supposed to be a comedy. There are a few minor laughs and a sardonic black comic feel to a few scenes, but to call it a comedy is to go way too far. The downside is that the comedy reduces the serious side of the film, so the movie ends up being lightweight without the benefit of actually being funny. We get the worst of both worlds.

Julie Delpy only plays a minor role in a few scenes. Her screen time can't be more than ten minutes, if that. I think of the Colours Trilogy as being about a central female character in each film, but this movie proves that not to be true.

5 out of 10

Three Colours Red (1994)
I thought White had a fairly random story. Red is even more fragmented. I don't think it has a real plot. There is no centre that binds the scenes together. It really is just a random (I assume made up as it goes along) collection of scenes with reoccurring characters.

The long dialogues between the model and the retired judge are the main focus. I never felt a true story, or a substantial relationship, emerged from those scenes.

The film was really pretty pointless. The first hour was more entertaining than it should have been. It was quietly compelling. A lot of this is probably due to the brisk pacing. The pace slacked off and it became slower in the last half hour. The last meeting in the theatre was not much of a climax. It had pointless diversion with a storm and a janitor - the bit when the model has to close the doors seemed particularly random. The dialogue between the two characters started to become a bit pretentious towards the end. Especially her treating his dream of her as a fifty year old as being prophetic.

The film climaxes with the lead characters from the three movies in the trilogy meeting by chance. It's not funny, ironic, meaningful or interesting. They don't talk to each other. They are simply on the same boat together (and it adds a continuity question about the couple from White). It ties nothing up and is a wasted opportunity.

The film does not measure up to its sky high heavyweight reputation. Overall it was too random and unconvincing as a proper story. It's well acted and nicely filmed. I think Red is the weakest of the three movies. It wasn't bad, and it was very watchable, but it didn't add up to much.

5 out of 10

I've just worked out the meaning of the ending on the boat after re-reading my review. I literally wrote it. He is saying they are all in the same boat, as in they all have the same problems. Seems so obvious now.

The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
[Not included in this box set.]
I gave up on this the first time I tried to watch it. It was after half an hour when the first woman had a heart attack. I felt it was about nothing to the extent that it was without any content. I saw a vapid movie that was just a string of random images and scenes with no particular point or reason. Which wouldn't have been so bad if at least it was quite interesting or entertaining on some level. I thought it was just very boring. So for this second viewing I adjusted my expectations to a suitably low-level.

I think I was right first time. It is a serious of random images and scenes with no end destination or point in mind. Nothing much really happens, and what does happen is silly and unconvincing. What really connects these two women? Not much. So what that they look alike?

The puppeteer was a silly character with ludicrous motivations (if he has any) for his actions in the second half. It made no sense and was just very silly. If this wasn't subtitled people would not be buying the whole last half hour.

Visually there was a lot of weird looking green lighting. Whole scenes were bathed in this lime colour for no obvious reason.

The pace was neither quick or slow, more ploddingly average in speed.

I didn't enjoy the movie. I was not convinced by it at all. The weak story, if you can even call it that, had no discernible point to it. Not a good film. It was at least only ninety minutes and it wasn't patience trying. The last scene at her father's house was very puzzling. What was the purpose of that last moment of him making furniture at a saw and her touching a tree at the gate? Was it an obscure comment on how the tree will die and one day be used to make furniture. If so, who cares?

3 out of 10

--------------------------------------------------------

My old review posted 8/12/06:

I can stand a lack of excitement, but my patience does have a limit.

Blue (2 out of 5 stars)
A bit dull and a bit drab. Not a lot happens, and there really isn't a lot of psychology on display either. The most overtly slow and Europeanly pretentious of the three movies.

It works well enough, but it's very much a high culture thing (classical music composition features as an important part of the movie). People with little patience for art movies should avoid this one.

White (4 out of 5 stars)
An unamusing, unfunny comedy. The plot is quite scattershot and I'm not sure about the lead character's motivation at the end. It seems like an awful lot of trouble to regain her affections, to then happily drop her in it.

It's the most enjoyable of the movies.

Red (3 out of 5 stars)
Has the most conventional traditional story. Still a bit slow and aimless.

They're not the heaviest going art movies around, and White and Red are enjoyable enough. I find all three movies to be overlong and oddly void of any actual meaning or purpose. Which may, or may not be the point. For a director with such a heavy weight reputation you'd at least expect him to have something concrete to say.

Relevant side note about his other critically praised masterpiece: The Double Life of Veronique (1 star).

The film has absolutely no story. A true post-content movie. And I thought Michael Bay would have got there first - probably with added giant robots. Instead Kieslowski got there first - with women with heart problems.

The film has no plot. What it has for a story is a bunch of wispy, pointless incidences that fail to make any impact separately or when combined with the rest of the "narrative". Also it has a bit too much choral singing.

I give up about 40 minutes in.

Many an art house director has been trying to get away from storytelling and into "pure cinema". On this evidence it's clear that "pure cinema" is not a good idea and that we should thank Hollywood for its entertaining, nonsensical blockbusters.
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Around here, red, white and blue are known as the colours of the American flag, and they are also the colours of the French flag. But they also are the names of the late Krzysztof Kieslowski's brilliant "Three Colours" trilogy, which has a delicacy that most directors can only dream of. Beautiful, painful, artfully shot, it's a visual feast for anyone who has an appreciation for beauty, subtlety and filmmaking.

In "Bleu," Julie de Courcy (Juliette Binoche) and her family are in a car accident when their brakes fail, and her husband and daughter are killed. Devastated, she leaves her palatial house in the country after a night with her husband's old friend Olivier (Benoît Régent), who has been in love with her for years. And though Julie tries to leave her old life behind, she is pulled in when Olivier starts to finish her husband's last composition -- and he tells her of a side of her husband that she never knew.

In the bitterly funny "Blanc," hairdresser Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) is being coldly divorced by his beautiful wife Dominique (Julie Delpy) because she is sexually dissatisfied with him -- and she takes all his money too. But after returning to Poland, Karol rebuilds his life and fortune, and amid a web of killing, seduction and faked death, he comes up with a way to get back at Dominique...

And "Rouge" is the color of love. On her way home from a modelling session, Valentine (Irene Jacob) accidently injures a pregnant dog. The owner is Joseph Kern, (Jean-Louis Trintignant) an embittered ex-judge whose job has left him spiritually adrift, and who now spends his time wiretapping the phones of his neighbors and predicting what will happen in their lives. The friendship between Valentine and Kern grows, even as a young man's current life mirrors what devastated Kern long ago...

The three colours of the French flag symbolize liberty, equality and fraternity -- and these are echoed in the stories of Kieslowski's films. And each of the three movies has its own "feel" -- "Blue" is cool and sensual, "White" was sharp and sexy, and "Red" has a sweetness and richness that is truly moving.

And while most directors are just boring when they do slow, arty direction, Kieslowski infused his direction with sensual beauty and endless light and colour, like a painting come to life. And he intertwined many symbolic images and lingering threads from one movie to the next, whether it's an old lady recycling bottles or a rather surprising finale for "Red" that brings all three movies' protagonists together.

And he saturated the movies with the colour of their title -- blue is sadness, depth and beauty; white is beautiful and pure, stark and blinding; red is passion and warmth. While this may not have been Kieslowski's intention, the constant presence of these colors (a bridal gown, a swimming pool, and so on) add an extra dimension to the emotions in the story, especially the first.

Juliette Binoche is an extremely good actress, and this movie uses her expressiveness as most movies don't. Zamachowski brings an element of humanity and poignancy to what could have been an idiotic character, and I never felt anything but understanding for this guy. And Irene Jacob brings a sweetness and innocence to her role as Valentine (aptly named, considering the title of the movie she stars in) that is rarely seen in modern movies.

Kieslowski was an unusual and extremely talented moviemaker, and his "Three Colors" trilogy -- "Bleu," "Blanc" and "Rouge" -- is an exceptional piece of work. We shall not see his like again.
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