Red


1h 35m 1994
Red

Brief Synopsis

An accident creates a relationship between a model and a retired judge who spies on his neighbors.

Film Details

Also Known As
Den röda filmen, Film Rouge, Rouge, Three Colors: Red, Trois couleurs: Rouge
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
1994
Production Company
Channel 4; Channel Four Television; Eurimages; Film4 Productions; France 3 Cinéma; Miramax International; StudioCanal
Distribution Company
ALLIANCE RELEASING/MIRAMAX; Academy Distribuzione; Alliance Releasing; Alliance Releasing; Alternative Films; Camera Film; Concorde Filmverleih Gmbh; Curzon Artificial Eye; Disney/Buena Vista; Finnkino Oy; Kuzui Enterprises; MIRAMAX; New Vision Films; Rialto Films; Triangelfilm; Wanda Visión S.A.
Location
Geneva, Switzerland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Synopsis

A beautiful model named Valentine crosses paths with a retired judge, whose dog she runs over with her car. The lonely judge, she discovers, amuses himself by eavesdropping on all of his neighbors' phone conversations. Near Valentine's apartment lives a young man who aspires to be a judge and loves a woman who will betray him. From these characters' proximity comes spiritual kinship and mutual redemption.

Film Details

Also Known As
Den röda filmen, Film Rouge, Rouge, Three Colors: Red, Trois couleurs: Rouge
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
1994
Production Company
Channel 4; Channel Four Television; Eurimages; Film4 Productions; France 3 Cinéma; Miramax International; StudioCanal
Distribution Company
ALLIANCE RELEASING/MIRAMAX; Academy Distribuzione; Alliance Releasing; Alliance Releasing; Alternative Films; Camera Film; Concorde Filmverleih Gmbh; Curzon Artificial Eye; Disney/Buena Vista; Finnkino Oy; Kuzui Enterprises; MIRAMAX; New Vision Films; Rialto Films; Triangelfilm; Wanda Visión S.A.
Location
Geneva, Switzerland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1994

Best Director

1994
Krzysztof Kieslowski

Best Original Screenplay

1994

Articles

Red


Not red, white and blue. Blue, white and red - the order of the colors in France's Tricolor. Not that it would do to impose too much patterning on the Trois Couleurs trilogy with which Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-1996) ended a career of making searching films about people making choices or connections - or not. Although they abound in patterns and parallels, Kieslowski's films above all are steeped in mystery, in events and behaviors that can be observed, but neither explained nor perhaps even understood. Thus Blue (1993), starring Juliette Binoche, is steeped in sadness and emotional paralysis as a woman who loses her husband and child in a car crash eventually is faced with an unanticipated way out of her grief -- Liberte.

White (1994) pushes Egalite into a sardonic comic spotlight as Zbigniew Zamachowski's Polish hairdresser is dumped by his wife in Paris and returns to a far from welcoming Poland to get rich and get even. Red (1994) brilliantly caps the trilogy, affirmatively bringing it full circle with a large-spanned take on Fraternite. It's set in motion when Irene Jacob's fashion model, Valentine, accidentally runs down a dog belonging to Jean-Louis Trintignant's retired judge and returns it to him at his villa after having it treated by a vet. She's surprised to find that, far from expressing relief, the old jurist seems indifferent to the dog, telling her to keep it. Surprise gives way to shock when she finds that the prickly yet intriguing figure, distressed by life's messiness and troubled by decisions he made from the bench, eavesdrops on his neighbors electronically.

There's a point to it all, signaled by an opening sequence of telephone lines and cables, all streaming talk, tentacles of Babel. The judge's wiretaps aren't salacious, nor does he undertake them to sustain a view of humans as flawed in order to rationalize his own human shortfall over the years. Rather, he seems a sort of custodian to a pileup of mismatched lovers and various kinds of circuitry and linkages that need untangling. Partly because he seems to have put his life on hold, partly because she listens to him with a grave clarity of expression and a simpatico vibe that makes her seem older than her years, they recognize a shared, unspoken complicity. The spark between them isn't sexual. It's one of recognition. Her receptivity melts his crusty self-removal from life.

Sometimes their talk takes on the tone of an Eric Rohmer moral speculation. But there's more spiritual depth, less detachment than in Rohmer. And where Rohmer reaches for lucidity, Kieslowski takes a bigger risk, aspiring and sometimes touching transcendence. Not surprisingly, much of the harsh old judge's distancing from life turns out to be his response to having had love and lost it. Valentine lives at the opposite end of the love spectrum. Love for her comes with distance. She talks on the phone to her long-distance boyfriend in England and almost never sees him. Does some part of her prefer it this way? We aren't sure. Does she speculate on the chain of circumstances that has thrown her together with the judge? No, although Kieslowski's spotlighting of causalities and parallel possibilities reminds us of the oft-cited moment in another Kieslowski film starring Jacob, The Double Life of Veronique (1991), in which one Veronique, on a bus, just misses seeing a doppelganger Veronique walking down a street along the route.

While the judge grapples with morality and aging, Valentine experiences frustration on the phone when her lover expresses jealousy. Kieslowski always leaves room for playfulness in his films. Here it takes the form of watching a handsome young law student who lives in an apartment across the street from Valentine hang up his phone, making it seem, if we didn't know differently, that he had been speaking to Valentine. In fact, he was having an unsatisfactory exchange with his own girlfriend, who sells weather forecasts. Given the symmetry, you expect the model and the law student to break through their unwitting pattern of never quite running into one another.

When they do finally meet on the sea of love, it seems both capricious and foreordained, fateful and unpredictable, one of film's sweetest workings out of chaos theory. Never does Red seem controlled - part of its message is that life can't be controlled - yet it always seems inevitable. That's part of what makes it so profoundly satisfying. It's deep and tender, yet airy and full of playfulness. And Kieslowski's way of working the color red into the film - in a bowling ball, a poster, a car, a glass of wine, blood from a wound, a strand of electric cable - never lets us overlook the seraphic twinkle behind his severe view of human destinies. As much about the pain of love as it is about the arbitrariness of love, the brilliant Red encourages us to revel in Jacob's sentience and resilience and appreciate Trintignant's rueful soul-searching that results in him counseling her to do what he could not - "just be." It sums up Kieslowski's way of focusing on the concrete and finite to conjure up much larger mysteries and wonders.

Red was nominated for three Academy Awards - cinematography, direction, and original screenplay. It won none. Kieslowski wrote it with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, a lawyer he met at the time of the Solidarity trials. He described their method as talking through the film in smoke-filled rooms until the script emerged. The Academy did not allow it to compete as the Swiss entry for Best Foreign-Language Film, presumably because it was a multinational production, had a Polish director, and a cast and crew from Switzerland and France. This pedigree did not keep it from being named best foreign film by the National Society of Film Critics and the critics' societies of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Producer: Marin Karmitz
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Screenplay: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Cinematography: Piotr Sobocinski
Music: Zbigniew Preisner
Film Editing: Jacques Witta
Cast: Irène Jacob (Valentine), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Le juge), Frédérique Feder (Karin), Jean-Pierre Lorit (Auguste), Samuel Le Bihan (Le photographe), Marion Stalens (Le Vétérinaire), Teco Celio (Le barman), Bernard Escalon (Le disquaire), Jean Schlegel (Le voisin), Elzbieta Jasinska (La femme).
C-99m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. Descriptive Video.

by Jay Carr
Red

Red

Not red, white and blue. Blue, white and red - the order of the colors in France's Tricolor. Not that it would do to impose too much patterning on the Trois Couleurs trilogy with which Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-1996) ended a career of making searching films about people making choices or connections - or not. Although they abound in patterns and parallels, Kieslowski's films above all are steeped in mystery, in events and behaviors that can be observed, but neither explained nor perhaps even understood. Thus Blue (1993), starring Juliette Binoche, is steeped in sadness and emotional paralysis as a woman who loses her husband and child in a car crash eventually is faced with an unanticipated way out of her grief -- Liberte. White (1994) pushes Egalite into a sardonic comic spotlight as Zbigniew Zamachowski's Polish hairdresser is dumped by his wife in Paris and returns to a far from welcoming Poland to get rich and get even. Red (1994) brilliantly caps the trilogy, affirmatively bringing it full circle with a large-spanned take on Fraternite. It's set in motion when Irene Jacob's fashion model, Valentine, accidentally runs down a dog belonging to Jean-Louis Trintignant's retired judge and returns it to him at his villa after having it treated by a vet. She's surprised to find that, far from expressing relief, the old jurist seems indifferent to the dog, telling her to keep it. Surprise gives way to shock when she finds that the prickly yet intriguing figure, distressed by life's messiness and troubled by decisions he made from the bench, eavesdrops on his neighbors electronically. There's a point to it all, signaled by an opening sequence of telephone lines and cables, all streaming talk, tentacles of Babel. The judge's wiretaps aren't salacious, nor does he undertake them to sustain a view of humans as flawed in order to rationalize his own human shortfall over the years. Rather, he seems a sort of custodian to a pileup of mismatched lovers and various kinds of circuitry and linkages that need untangling. Partly because he seems to have put his life on hold, partly because she listens to him with a grave clarity of expression and a simpatico vibe that makes her seem older than her years, they recognize a shared, unspoken complicity. The spark between them isn't sexual. It's one of recognition. Her receptivity melts his crusty self-removal from life. Sometimes their talk takes on the tone of an Eric Rohmer moral speculation. But there's more spiritual depth, less detachment than in Rohmer. And where Rohmer reaches for lucidity, Kieslowski takes a bigger risk, aspiring and sometimes touching transcendence. Not surprisingly, much of the harsh old judge's distancing from life turns out to be his response to having had love and lost it. Valentine lives at the opposite end of the love spectrum. Love for her comes with distance. She talks on the phone to her long-distance boyfriend in England and almost never sees him. Does some part of her prefer it this way? We aren't sure. Does she speculate on the chain of circumstances that has thrown her together with the judge? No, although Kieslowski's spotlighting of causalities and parallel possibilities reminds us of the oft-cited moment in another Kieslowski film starring Jacob, The Double Life of Veronique (1991), in which one Veronique, on a bus, just misses seeing a doppelganger Veronique walking down a street along the route. While the judge grapples with morality and aging, Valentine experiences frustration on the phone when her lover expresses jealousy. Kieslowski always leaves room for playfulness in his films. Here it takes the form of watching a handsome young law student who lives in an apartment across the street from Valentine hang up his phone, making it seem, if we didn't know differently, that he had been speaking to Valentine. In fact, he was having an unsatisfactory exchange with his own girlfriend, who sells weather forecasts. Given the symmetry, you expect the model and the law student to break through their unwitting pattern of never quite running into one another. When they do finally meet on the sea of love, it seems both capricious and foreordained, fateful and unpredictable, one of film's sweetest workings out of chaos theory. Never does Red seem controlled - part of its message is that life can't be controlled - yet it always seems inevitable. That's part of what makes it so profoundly satisfying. It's deep and tender, yet airy and full of playfulness. And Kieslowski's way of working the color red into the film - in a bowling ball, a poster, a car, a glass of wine, blood from a wound, a strand of electric cable - never lets us overlook the seraphic twinkle behind his severe view of human destinies. As much about the pain of love as it is about the arbitrariness of love, the brilliant Red encourages us to revel in Jacob's sentience and resilience and appreciate Trintignant's rueful soul-searching that results in him counseling her to do what he could not - "just be." It sums up Kieslowski's way of focusing on the concrete and finite to conjure up much larger mysteries and wonders. Red was nominated for three Academy Awards - cinematography, direction, and original screenplay. It won none. Kieslowski wrote it with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, a lawyer he met at the time of the Solidarity trials. He described their method as talking through the film in smoke-filled rooms until the script emerged. The Academy did not allow it to compete as the Swiss entry for Best Foreign-Language Film, presumably because it was a multinational production, had a Polish director, and a cast and crew from Switzerland and France. This pedigree did not keep it from being named best foreign film by the National Society of Film Critics and the critics' societies of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Producer: Marin Karmitz Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski Screenplay: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz Cinematography: Piotr Sobocinski Music: Zbigniew Preisner Film Editing: Jacques Witta Cast: Irène Jacob (Valentine), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Le juge), Frédérique Feder (Karin), Jean-Pierre Lorit (Auguste), Samuel Le Bihan (Le photographe), Marion Stalens (Le Vétérinaire), Teco Celio (Le barman), Bernard Escalon (Le disquaire), Jean Schlegel (Le voisin), Elzbieta Jasinska (La femme). C-99m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. Descriptive Video. by Jay Carr

Three Colors: Blue, White, Red - THREE COLORS: BLUE, WHITE, RED - Krzysztof Kieslowski's Dazzling Cinematic Trio


The three colors are blue, white and red. They are the colors of the French flag, of course, and they are appropriated by director Krzysztof Kieslowski along with the themes of the motto they more or less represent: liberty, equality, fraternity. But the films Blue (1993), Red (1993) and Red (1994) are not hymns to patriotism or national identity and the Polish Kieslowski hasn't any predisposition to making a statement at France. It's better to think of this trilogy in similar terms as his The Decalogue, ten short films in which he reflects upon the Ten Commandments in terms more suggestive than literal. They are about morality in terms of life in Poland in 1989 and it is that vast collage of life experience in that time and place that is so powerful.

After Kieslowski completed The Decalogue, the Berlin Wall fell, Perestroika was introduced in the Soviet Union and communism collapsed in Eastern Europe. The Three Colors trilogy may begin in France but reaches beyond national borders to Poland and Switzerland to become in part a portrait of the new Europe. And, I would say, a rumination on the mysteries behind the faces of his beautiful leading ladies: Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy and Irene Jacob.

Binoche stars in Blue as Julie Vignon, the sole survivor of a car wreck that kills her husband, a revered composer, and their young daughter. Initially bereft to the point of suicide, she's unable to swallow the pills. It's more a matter of gag reflex than second thoughts but she embraces the reflex as a way to deal with her grief: she simply rejects all emotional connection to her past and her present life, dropping out of contact with everyone she knew and systematically destroying all extant traces of her husband's unfinished composition, which we learn she was intimately and creatively involved with. (The title of the composition, "Concerto for the Unification of Europe," suggests the scope of Kieslowski's trilogy while commenting on Julie's aggressive isolation.)

As one might assume from the title, the color blue dominates the palette, from the light over the city at dusk to the glow from the swimming pool she visits to, quite literally, exorcize/exercise the demons of her memory. The saturated hues are calming, protective, but also isolating; the rest of the world fades away when she's enveloped in the blue of the water. Yet the world keeps coming back to her and Kieslowski punctuates every assault on the emotional armor with startling orchestral stings and a brief fade to black, as if the scene has jolted her out of the present and into the blackness of loss she has refused to confront. The technique recalls Godard but Kieslowski orchestrates the elements with a grace that is his alone. Where Godard deconstructs and breaks our engagement with the film, Kieslowski pulls us in and layers the effects: the music she has been trying to destroy returns with a vengeance, as if fighting her efforts to suppress it. Ultimately it becomes the story of her reawakening to world, but this time on her terms.

White opens in Paris on a sad clown of a gentle Polish immigrant, Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), reporting to divorce court where his French wife (Julie Delpy) sues for divorce because he has failed to consummate the marriage (not for lack of desire, merely a bad, extended case of impotence). With his twinkling blue eyes and smile of a child, Zamachowski carries himself with the bounce and determined optimism of a silent movie clown in a mercenary modern world, where he's reduced to a penniless, homeless, hapless drifter between countries until a generous countryman helps smuggle him back home. When Karol finally sets foot back on Polish soil, after escaping from thieves and tumbling down the side of a garbage dump, he gazes across the garbage-strewn landscape with the sigh: "Home at last." There's no love of Poland in this portrait, where the new capitalism has only made it into a country of opportunists. . "These days you can buy anything," Karol muses as he remakes himself, first as a bodyguard to a black marketer and then as a cunning businessman in the new Poland. First he buys a gun and then he buys an elaborate revenge against the wife who so cruelly kicked him to the curb (and she is cruel, mind you, driven by some fury that remains unexplained and almost unfathomable).

Yet this is the comedy of the trilogy, not so much a black comedy as a wicked satire in the cold white light of Polish winter, which (as you would expect) informs the color palette of this film. It's visually starker than the other, more saturated films, bereft of bright color, but while Kieslowski shows us a cold world of commerce and power, he also offers us a friendship of great devotion and, in a vodka-fueled lark across a frozen park, the only moments of pure, childlike joy in the entire trilogy. And against all expectations, Kieslowski presents a final act of revenge that is at once unforgiving and steeped in love. If White is indeed about equality, then this vengeance is about balancing the scales and rekindling a broken relationship by the most drastic measures. That the final image is suffused in emotional reunion (at the expense of physical disconnection), forgiveness and pure, unconditional love is testament to the artistry and humanism of Kieslowski.

All three films open on industrial rumble and physical mechanisms of modern life: the speeding tire of an automobile in the highway in Blue that will, moments later, shatter Julie's life, and the conveyor belt of an airport luggage belt carrying a suitcase that, we will soon learn, carries strange cargo in White. Red begins by hurtling along telephone lines and international cables, under the English Channel and through subterranean tunnels, only to end on a busy signal on other end of the line. More than a motif, this introduction frames and defines Red, a film that revolves around relationships strained by physical dislocation and relationships that become almost abstracted through increasingly disconnected telephone conversations.

Irene Jacob stars as Valentine, a student and professional model in Geneva, Switzerland, whose boyfriend is constantly traveling (and usually suspicious and unpleasantly jealous whenever he calls) and Jean-Louis Trintignant is Joseph Kern, a bitter retired judge who spends his days eavesdropping on his neighbors' phone calls. After spending a life in the impossible pursuit of finding truth within the constraints of the courtroom, he now investigates his neighbors for no reason other than to learn the "truth," as if to prove that such a thing exists. Or maybe it's merely a test of justice. It's like he's waiting for someone to catch him and report him, and the longer he remains at large to continue, the more disillusioned be becomes. Their initial meeting is initiated by injury (Valentine accidentally hits his dog in the road) and fraught with conflict and judgment, yet they somehow become friends and confidantes. He imparts a little wisdom to her, and she rouses his dashed ideals, while the intensity of the rich red color scheme brings a vibrancy to the scenes: it's the color of love, anger, passion, heat, and it warms this into becoming the most forgiving film in the series.

"I have said all I need to say on film," remarked Kieslowski after completing the trilogy. "Red is my summation." It is certainly the most densely and deftly woven of the three films. The story of a young judge (Jean-Pierre Lorit) who lives in Valentine's neighborhood and dates a neighbor of the old judge plays out in the margins of the film: their paths circle and wind around without meeting throughout the film, his romantic drama echoes Valentine's and his life's journey recalls that related to Valentine by Joseph. The old judge increasingly becomes Kieslowski's stand-in. He observes and judges, but also defends and excuses, all the while constantly questioning his actions and his ability to find the truth. And while he never aggressively interferes in the lives he listens in on, he is something of a conductor, nudging events along with a remark or a suggestion.

There are few direct narrative connections between the three films. Apart from the coda of Red, which brings all three films together into the same climactic event, they limited are brief crossings (Binoche stumbles into the courtroom of White in a tiny moment that pulls the two films into the same universe) and references that echo across the films. But ideas and images and the texture of Kieslowski's filmmaking and elliptical storytelling reverberate through the trilogy, the most prominent being an old stooped person who shuffles up to a recycling bin and reaches up to deposit a bottle. Only in Red does our heroine step in to help, and that act of kindness is like a fulfillment, a test of human compassion finally met that brings the cycle to its fruition.

All three films were released on DVD by Miramax in 2003 with a wealth of supplements. Many of those are included in this set, including select scene commentary by Juliette Binoche, video interviews with producer Martin Karmitz and editor Jacque Witta and three "Krzysztof Kieslowski's Cinema Lesson" programs, excerpts from a 1994 French TV program featuring Kieslowski describing, dissecting, and ruminating on a scene from each of the three films. The "Reflections on Blue" and "A Discussion on Kieslowski: The Early Years" are interview programs with film critics Geoff Andrew and Annette Insdorf, actresses Juliette Binoche and Irene Jacob, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Slawomir Idziak and editor Jacques Witta, and there are short documentaries on the making of White and Red and the world premiere of Red at Cannes 1994.

New to the set are interviews with composer Zbigniew Preisner; writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz, and actors Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Irène Jacob conducted in 2011 for exclusively for this edition, and superb video essays on each film by film studies professor Annette Insdorf (on Blue) and film critics Tony Rayns (White) and Dennis Lim (Red).

Archival offerings include the 1995 feature-length documentary Krzysztof Kieslowski: I'm So-So from Krzysztof Wierzbicki, two early Kieslowski student shorts, The Tram and The Face (both from 1966), and two short documentaries by Kieslowski, Seven Women of Different Ages (1978) and Talking Heads (1980). And of course there is a substantial booklet with essays on the films by critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans, and Georgina Evans, an excerpt from the interview book "Kieslowski on Kieslowski," and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Slawomir Idziak, Edward Klosinski, and Piotr Sobocinski.

For more information about Three Colors: Blue, White, Red, visit The Criterion Collection. To order Three Colors: Blue, White, Red, go to TCM Shopping.

by Sean Axmaker

Three Colors: Blue, White, Red - THREE COLORS: BLUE, WHITE, RED - Krzysztof Kieslowski's Dazzling Cinematic Trio

The three colors are blue, white and red. They are the colors of the French flag, of course, and they are appropriated by director Krzysztof Kieslowski along with the themes of the motto they more or less represent: liberty, equality, fraternity. But the films Blue (1993), Red (1993) and Red (1994) are not hymns to patriotism or national identity and the Polish Kieslowski hasn't any predisposition to making a statement at France. It's better to think of this trilogy in similar terms as his The Decalogue, ten short films in which he reflects upon the Ten Commandments in terms more suggestive than literal. They are about morality in terms of life in Poland in 1989 and it is that vast collage of life experience in that time and place that is so powerful. After Kieslowski completed The Decalogue, the Berlin Wall fell, Perestroika was introduced in the Soviet Union and communism collapsed in Eastern Europe. The Three Colors trilogy may begin in France but reaches beyond national borders to Poland and Switzerland to become in part a portrait of the new Europe. And, I would say, a rumination on the mysteries behind the faces of his beautiful leading ladies: Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy and Irene Jacob. Binoche stars in Blue as Julie Vignon, the sole survivor of a car wreck that kills her husband, a revered composer, and their young daughter. Initially bereft to the point of suicide, she's unable to swallow the pills. It's more a matter of gag reflex than second thoughts but she embraces the reflex as a way to deal with her grief: she simply rejects all emotional connection to her past and her present life, dropping out of contact with everyone she knew and systematically destroying all extant traces of her husband's unfinished composition, which we learn she was intimately and creatively involved with. (The title of the composition, "Concerto for the Unification of Europe," suggests the scope of Kieslowski's trilogy while commenting on Julie's aggressive isolation.) As one might assume from the title, the color blue dominates the palette, from the light over the city at dusk to the glow from the swimming pool she visits to, quite literally, exorcize/exercise the demons of her memory. The saturated hues are calming, protective, but also isolating; the rest of the world fades away when she's enveloped in the blue of the water. Yet the world keeps coming back to her and Kieslowski punctuates every assault on the emotional armor with startling orchestral stings and a brief fade to black, as if the scene has jolted her out of the present and into the blackness of loss she has refused to confront. The technique recalls Godard but Kieslowski orchestrates the elements with a grace that is his alone. Where Godard deconstructs and breaks our engagement with the film, Kieslowski pulls us in and layers the effects: the music she has been trying to destroy returns with a vengeance, as if fighting her efforts to suppress it. Ultimately it becomes the story of her reawakening to world, but this time on her terms. White opens in Paris on a sad clown of a gentle Polish immigrant, Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), reporting to divorce court where his French wife (Julie Delpy) sues for divorce because he has failed to consummate the marriage (not for lack of desire, merely a bad, extended case of impotence). With his twinkling blue eyes and smile of a child, Zamachowski carries himself with the bounce and determined optimism of a silent movie clown in a mercenary modern world, where he's reduced to a penniless, homeless, hapless drifter between countries until a generous countryman helps smuggle him back home. When Karol finally sets foot back on Polish soil, after escaping from thieves and tumbling down the side of a garbage dump, he gazes across the garbage-strewn landscape with the sigh: "Home at last." There's no love of Poland in this portrait, where the new capitalism has only made it into a country of opportunists. . "These days you can buy anything," Karol muses as he remakes himself, first as a bodyguard to a black marketer and then as a cunning businessman in the new Poland. First he buys a gun and then he buys an elaborate revenge against the wife who so cruelly kicked him to the curb (and she is cruel, mind you, driven by some fury that remains unexplained and almost unfathomable). Yet this is the comedy of the trilogy, not so much a black comedy as a wicked satire in the cold white light of Polish winter, which (as you would expect) informs the color palette of this film. It's visually starker than the other, more saturated films, bereft of bright color, but while Kieslowski shows us a cold world of commerce and power, he also offers us a friendship of great devotion and, in a vodka-fueled lark across a frozen park, the only moments of pure, childlike joy in the entire trilogy. And against all expectations, Kieslowski presents a final act of revenge that is at once unforgiving and steeped in love. If White is indeed about equality, then this vengeance is about balancing the scales and rekindling a broken relationship by the most drastic measures. That the final image is suffused in emotional reunion (at the expense of physical disconnection), forgiveness and pure, unconditional love is testament to the artistry and humanism of Kieslowski. All three films open on industrial rumble and physical mechanisms of modern life: the speeding tire of an automobile in the highway in Blue that will, moments later, shatter Julie's life, and the conveyor belt of an airport luggage belt carrying a suitcase that, we will soon learn, carries strange cargo in White. Red begins by hurtling along telephone lines and international cables, under the English Channel and through subterranean tunnels, only to end on a busy signal on other end of the line. More than a motif, this introduction frames and defines Red, a film that revolves around relationships strained by physical dislocation and relationships that become almost abstracted through increasingly disconnected telephone conversations. Irene Jacob stars as Valentine, a student and professional model in Geneva, Switzerland, whose boyfriend is constantly traveling (and usually suspicious and unpleasantly jealous whenever he calls) and Jean-Louis Trintignant is Joseph Kern, a bitter retired judge who spends his days eavesdropping on his neighbors' phone calls. After spending a life in the impossible pursuit of finding truth within the constraints of the courtroom, he now investigates his neighbors for no reason other than to learn the "truth," as if to prove that such a thing exists. Or maybe it's merely a test of justice. It's like he's waiting for someone to catch him and report him, and the longer he remains at large to continue, the more disillusioned be becomes. Their initial meeting is initiated by injury (Valentine accidentally hits his dog in the road) and fraught with conflict and judgment, yet they somehow become friends and confidantes. He imparts a little wisdom to her, and she rouses his dashed ideals, while the intensity of the rich red color scheme brings a vibrancy to the scenes: it's the color of love, anger, passion, heat, and it warms this into becoming the most forgiving film in the series. "I have said all I need to say on film," remarked Kieslowski after completing the trilogy. "Red is my summation." It is certainly the most densely and deftly woven of the three films. The story of a young judge (Jean-Pierre Lorit) who lives in Valentine's neighborhood and dates a neighbor of the old judge plays out in the margins of the film: their paths circle and wind around without meeting throughout the film, his romantic drama echoes Valentine's and his life's journey recalls that related to Valentine by Joseph. The old judge increasingly becomes Kieslowski's stand-in. He observes and judges, but also defends and excuses, all the while constantly questioning his actions and his ability to find the truth. And while he never aggressively interferes in the lives he listens in on, he is something of a conductor, nudging events along with a remark or a suggestion. There are few direct narrative connections between the three films. Apart from the coda of Red, which brings all three films together into the same climactic event, they limited are brief crossings (Binoche stumbles into the courtroom of White in a tiny moment that pulls the two films into the same universe) and references that echo across the films. But ideas and images and the texture of Kieslowski's filmmaking and elliptical storytelling reverberate through the trilogy, the most prominent being an old stooped person who shuffles up to a recycling bin and reaches up to deposit a bottle. Only in Red does our heroine step in to help, and that act of kindness is like a fulfillment, a test of human compassion finally met that brings the cycle to its fruition. All three films were released on DVD by Miramax in 2003 with a wealth of supplements. Many of those are included in this set, including select scene commentary by Juliette Binoche, video interviews with producer Martin Karmitz and editor Jacque Witta and three "Krzysztof Kieslowski's Cinema Lesson" programs, excerpts from a 1994 French TV program featuring Kieslowski describing, dissecting, and ruminating on a scene from each of the three films. The "Reflections on Blue" and "A Discussion on Kieslowski: The Early Years" are interview programs with film critics Geoff Andrew and Annette Insdorf, actresses Juliette Binoche and Irene Jacob, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Slawomir Idziak and editor Jacques Witta, and there are short documentaries on the making of White and Red and the world premiere of Red at Cannes 1994. New to the set are interviews with composer Zbigniew Preisner; writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz, and actors Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Irène Jacob conducted in 2011 for exclusively for this edition, and superb video essays on each film by film studies professor Annette Insdorf (on Blue) and film critics Tony Rayns (White) and Dennis Lim (Red). Archival offerings include the 1995 feature-length documentary Krzysztof Kieslowski: I'm So-So from Krzysztof Wierzbicki, two early Kieslowski student shorts, The Tram and The Face (both from 1966), and two short documentaries by Kieslowski, Seven Women of Different Ages (1978) and Talking Heads (1980). And of course there is a substantial booklet with essays on the films by critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans, and Georgina Evans, an excerpt from the interview book "Kieslowski on Kieslowski," and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Slawomir Idziak, Edward Klosinski, and Piotr Sobocinski. For more information about Three Colors: Blue, White, Red, visit The Criterion Collection. To order Three Colors: Blue, White, Red, go to TCM Shopping. by Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy was nominated for the 1994 Felix Award for European Film of the Year.

Nominated for four 1994 British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Irene Jacob), and Best Film Not in the English Language.

Nominated for seven 1994 Cesar Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Irene Jacob), and Best Actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant).

Nominated for the 1994 Golden Reel Award by the Motion Picture Sound Editors in the foreign film category.

Winner of the 1994 award for Best Director from the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Winner of the 1994 award for Best Foreign Film from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Winner of the 1994 award for Best Foreign Language Film from the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Winner of the 1994 award for Best Foreign Language Film from the National Society of Film Critics.

Winner of the 1994 award for Best Foreign Language Film from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Winner of the Air Canada Award for Most Popular Film at the 1994 Vancouver International Film Festival.

Winner of the Prix Melies for best French film of 1994. This award is given annually by France's film critics.

Released in United States Fall November 23, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 2, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 9, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 16, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 30, 1994

Expanded Release in United States January 13, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 20, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 27, 1995

Expanded Release in United States February 3, 1995

Expanded Release in United States February 10, 1995

Re-released in United States April 5, 1996

Released in United States on Video March 4, 2003

Released in United States 1994

Released in United States August 1994

Released in United States September 1994

Released in United States October 1994

Released in United States November 1994

Released in United States January 1995

Released in United States March 14, 1996

Released in United States September 1996

Released in United States February 1999

Shown at Cancun International Film Festival (in competition) November 27 - December 3, 1994.

Shown at Montreal World Film Festival (Hors Concours) August 25 - September 5, 1994.

Shown at New York Film Festival September 23 - October 9, 1994.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival September 30 - October 16, 1994.

Shown at Wellington Film Festival in New Zealand July 22 - August 5, 1994.

Shown at Locarno International Film Festival August 4-14, 1994.

Shown at San Sebastian International Film Festival (Open Zone) September 15-24, 1994.

Shown at Banco Nacional International Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro September 1-15, 1994.

Shown at Boston Film Festival September 9-22, 1994.

Shown at Mill Valley Film Festival October 6-16, 1994.

Shown at London Film Festival November 3-20, 1994.

Shown at International Film Festival of India (Filmotsav) in Bombay January 10-20, 1995.

Third installment in Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy based on the Tricolore: liberty, equality, and fraternity. The first is "Blue" (France/Poland/Switzerland/1993), starring Juliette Binoche; the second is "White" (France/Poland/Switzerland/1994), starring Julie Delpy.

Completed shooting April 29, 1993.

Began shooting March 1, 1993.

Citing that it does not meet enough of the necessary guidelines concerning a film's "artistic control" within a foreign co-production, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences disqualified "Red" from competing as Switzerland's official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. (In an unprecedented move, Switzerland rejected the Academy's offer to submit another film.) Miramax Films' co-chairman Harvey Weinstein persuaded more than sixty industry heavyweights to sign a letter of complaint urging the Academy to reconsider its stance, to no avail.

Final feature for internationally renowned filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski who died Wednesday, March 13, 1996 of a heart attack in Warsaw, Poland. Kieslowski was 54.

Released in United States Fall November 23, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 2, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 9, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 16, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 30, 1994

Expanded Release in United States January 13, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 20, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 27, 1995

Expanded Release in United States February 3, 1995

Expanded Release in United States February 10, 1995

Re-released in United States April 5, 1996 (AMC Cecchi Gori Fine Arts; Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video March 4, 2003

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at Cancun International Film Festival (in competition) November 27 - December 3, 1994.)

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at Montreal World Film Festival (Hors Concours) August 25 - September 5, 1994.)

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 23 - October 9, 1994.)

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival September 30 - October 16, 1994.)

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at Wellington Film Festival in New Zealand July 22 - August 5, 1994.)

Released in United States August 1994 (Shown at Locarno International Film Festival August 4-14, 1994.)

Released in United States September 1994 (Shown at Banco Nacional International Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro September 1-15, 1994.)

Released in United States September 1994 (Shown at Boston Film Festival September 9-22, 1994.)

Released in United States October 1994 (Shown at Mill Valley Film Festival October 6-16, 1994.)

Released in United States November 1994 (Shown at London Film Festival November 3-20, 1994.)

Released in United States January 1995 (Shown at International Film Festival of India (Filmotsav) in Bombay January 10-20, 1995.)

Released in United States March 14, 1996 (Shown in New York City (Walter Reade Theater) March 14, 1996.)

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown in New York City (Anthology Film Archives) as part of program "Best of the Indies" September 5-15, 1996.)

Released in United States September 1994 (Shown at San Sebastian International Film Festival (Open Zone) September 15-24, 1994.)

Released in United States February 1999 (Shown in Los Angeles (American Cinematheque) as part of series "Belles du Jour: French Actresses - the New Generation" February 12-25, 1999.)

The Country of Switzerland