Three Colours trilogy

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Three Colours trilogy
Three Colors trilogy poster.png
Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Produced by Marin Karmitz
Yvonne Crenn
Written by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Starring Juliette Binoche
Zbigniew Zamachowski
Julie Delpy
Irène Jacob
Jean-Louis Trintignant
Music by Zbigniew Preisner
Cinematography Edward Kłosiński
Piotr Sobociński
Slawomir Idziak
Edited by Urszula Lesiak
Production
company
Distributed by MK2 Distribution
Release date
  • 8 September 1993 (1993-09-08) (Blue)
  • 26 January 1994 (1994-01-26) (White)
  • 8 September 1994 (1994-09-08) (Red)
Running time
288 minutes
Country France
Poland
Switzerland
Language Blue:
French
Romanian
Polish
White:
French
Polish
English
Russian
Red:
French
Box office $6,144,162 (All 3 films)

The Three Colours trilogy (Polish: Trzy kolory, French: Trois couleurs) is a three-part film series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. Two of the films were made in French and one primarily in Polish: Three Colours: Blue (1993), Three Colours: White (1994), and Three Colours: Red (1994). All three were co-written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz (with story consultants Agnieszka Holland and Sławomir Idziak) and have musical scores by Zbigniew Preisner.

Red received nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the 67th Academy Awards.

Themes[edit]

Blue, white, and red are the colours of the French flag in left-to-right order, and the story of each film is loosely based on one of the three political ideals in the motto of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity. As with the treatment of the Ten Commandments in Dekalog, the illustration of these principles is often ambiguous and ironic. As Kieślowski noted in an interview with an Oxford University student newspaper, “The words [liberté, egalité, fraternité] are French because the money [to fund the films] is French. If the money had been of a different nationality we would have titled the films differently, or they might have had a different cultural connotation. But the films would probably have been the same.”[citation needed]

The trilogy is also interpreted[1] respectively as an anti-tragedy, an anti-comedy, and an anti-romance.

Connections and patterns[edit]

A symbol common to the three films is that of an underlying link or thing that keeps the protagonist linked to their past. In the case of Blue, it is the lamp of blue beads and a symbol seen throughout the film in the TV of people falling (doing either sky diving or bungee jumping), the director is careful in showing falls with no cords at the beginning of the film but as the story develops the image of cords becomes more and more apparent as a symbol of a link to the past. In the case of White the item that links Karol to his past is a 2 Fr. coin and a plaster bust of Marianne[2] that he steals from an antique store in Paris. In the case of Red the judge never closes or locks his doors and his fountain pen, which stops working at a crucial point in the story.[3]

Another recurring image related to the spirit of the film is that of elderly people recycling bottles: In Blue, an old woman in Paris is recycling bottles and Julie does not notice her (in the spirit of freedom), in White, an old man also in Paris is trying to recycle a bottle but cannot reach the container and Karol looks at him with a sinister grin on his face (in the spirit of equality) and in Red an old woman cannot reach the hole of the container and Valentine helps her (in the spirit of fraternity).

Each films' ending shot is of a character crying. In Blue, Julie de Courcy cries looking into space. In White, Karol cries as he looks at his wife. In Red, the judge Kern cries as he looks through his broken window out at the camera.

Many main characters from Blue and White, including Julie and Karol, appear at the ending of Red as survivors of a ferry accident.

Films[edit]

Principal cast[edit]

Three Colors: Blue
Three Colors: White
Three Colors: Red

Soundtrack[edit]

Three Colors (soundtracks)
Soundtrack album by Zbigniew Preisner
Released 1993 - 1994
Genre Soundtrack, Classical
Length 40:35
35:46
41:57
Label Virgin
Capitol Records

Music for all three parts of the trilogy was composed by Zbigniew Preisner and performed by Silesian Philharmonic choir along with Sinfonia Varsovia.

Reception[edit]

Blue holds a 100% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, based on 39 reviews.[4] The second part of the trilogy, White, was ranked with 90% based on 41 reviews,[5] while its final film, Red, was certified "Fresh" on the same website and received 100% based on 47 reviews.[6]

Roger Ebert included the trilogy in its entirety to his "Great Movies" list.[7]

Ranked #11 in Empire magazine's "The 33 Greatest Movie Trilogies" in 2010.[8]

Ranked #14 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]