Polish foriegn films

Hello all,

Okay, maybe as an American, I’m a bit quirkier than most. But are their any fans of the great Polish director, Andrzej Wadja or perhaps the late Krzysztof Kieslowski out there?

I am a great fan of their work and would love to discuss any of their films.

Whoa! I didn’t think anybody but me and a couple of close friends even heard of Kieslowski. (We’re not even Polish, but Italian!) Anyway, his films are truly poignant and enlightening. I have seen his "Trois Couleurs” trilogy, a real tour de force. I loved the color themes and the carry-over of characters and plots among the three movies. As part of a Philadelphia film festival, Kieslowski’s other masterwork, “The Decalogue” was shown. They didn’t run all ten films, but I think we saw the best ones, in particular, the first commandment. He portrayed the relationship between science and faith in a very erudite way. When last I heard, a long time ago, rights to his films were held by a Canadian, who refused to release them, for whatever reason. Are they available anywhere now? Jeez, I still can’t get over it–another Kieslowski fan!!!

Thanks for replying NeedsMercy,

I am indeed a Kieslowski fan, in fact I’ve seen Blue/White/Red, all 10 episodes/films of the Decalogue, Blind Chance, Camera Buff, and The Double Life of Veronique (featuring the ever lovely Irene Jacob - she is so awesome in this one and in Red). I have also seen a fair number of Wadja’s films also, I would love to discuss his too.

Regarding the “Trois Couleurs,” - genius! Loved all three. These are really sort of a French/Polish collaboration, yes? Only the one, White/Blanc, features Polish actors and parts of it were also filmed in Warsaw. Of the 3, I totally loved Red/Rouge! The usage of the color red was so very dramatic and imaginative. The story, really a love story between the Irene Jacob character and the retired judge was so touching. This film, even today, stands out as a great piece of cinematography. I can’t say enough about this series, only that all 3 are worth watching. Oh yes, the ending of Red also ties together the characters from the previous 2 films. GENIUS!!

The Decalogue, all 10 episodes (on 3 DVDs) are indeed available now. In fact, I get all of these films from Netflix, totally worth the $18 a month. The Decalogue originally was shown as sort of a mini-series on Polish TV when it was first released. Yes, each episode features a poignant moral lesson. Most are difficult, as real life is. I love how all the characters live in this Polish apartment/flat community and, in fact, can be seen in other episodes of this series in minor parts. Makes it feel like a real life neighborhood. Great, excellent film making. On DVDs, you get 3 episodes on 2 discs and 4 stories on the last disc. Worth watching and discussing. You could show this and form an entire theology or moral class on this whole work!

Camera Buff and Blind Chance are a bit difficult and ambiguous, as most of Kielslowki’s works are. They are good. A bit more political since they were made in the 1980’s. The Soviets did censor film work and the directors had to be careful how some things were presented then. Especially if they were taking on the Soviets directly.

Tell me what you’ve seen of this director? Again, you can get any of these films and more on Netflix. Worth watching, all of these.

Have you seen any of Wadja’s films? The 2 that stand out are Ashes and Diamonds (so great!) and of course, Katyn. Wadja is alive and still making films after some 50 years. He’s lived through and seen a lot. Nazis to Soviets to Freedom. What a great man he is.

Glad to meet more fans and write more, please!!

By the way, they also showed Trios Couleurs here in Omaha when it first came out, but I missed it, so happy to find it on DVDs. So good.

Unfortunately, I am not familiar with Wadja. Part of the “Ugly American” syndrome still hanging around from the ‘60’s I guess. We here tend to think that American “culture”–really “pop” culture–is the be-all-and-end-all not only to us but to everyone else on the planet. Real tunnel vision.

I have not seen any of the other Kieslowski films which you mentioned, either. I know that I saw 4 or 5 of the “Decalogue” series, but I can’t recall which ones. (Growing old is a real ***** dontcha know) The last film of his that I saw was “Red” when it came out in the theatre years ago. 1994? Gee, seems like yesterday. Anyway, I remember boycotting the Oscars that year because “Red” did not get nominated for “Best Foreign Film”. What I think happened was that those in charge (Kieslowski?) had not entered the film for consideration. It would’ve won hands down.

As far as the stars of the films go, I’m a Juliette Binoche fan, myself. Loved her in “Blue”. She was pretty creepy when she borrowed a cat to get rid of a family of mice in her apartment. Big “ick” factor, there.

The French/Polish air of the trilogy stems from Kieslowski’s political opinions, I guess. As far as I know, he left Poland because his work was too risqué for the climate of the times. He moved to France to continue making films, n’est-ce pas? I suppose he was then free to spread the word about what was going on in Poland to the rest of the world.

I had no idea that K’s work was now available through Netflix, et al. That is so great! Now, if I could rustle a few dollars together, I could sign up. (Warning! Ascending my soap box now! Is it me or does it seem like it is so much more expensive to quench one’s thirst for sophisticated fare than it is to indulge in sludge? How in the heck are our young ones going to be introduced to the classics in art, music, etc.? Ever compare the price of a museum ticket to the cost of a ticket for a gross teenspoitation movie? I rest my case.) Now, please excuse me, but I’m gonna get my hands on those DVD’s, take a seat and grab some popcorn…


Just real quick - I know you see that attitude in some people, but I think that for most people, what you see is just innocent ignorance. American pop culture has SO much material that is aggressively marketed that the volume is deafening, in a manner of speaking. It takes a different sort of person to take a step back from that, cut through it, and look outside of everything you are being bombarded with. I think its kinda sad (but not necessarily sinister) that most people don’t take the time to do this.

But anyway, I just wanted an excuse to subscribe to this thread because my husband is very proud of his Polish heritage and I would love to introduce him to some good works by a Polish director.

Indeed Mr. Wadja is a great director and certainly is very much recognized in our country too. You are correct that most in our culture would not take the time to watch and appreciate films and art produced in other countries. Poland did and still continues to make great films. They aren’t loud and mindless like most of American films, they are difficult and deal much with life and death issues - deep things. Your husband should be proud of heritage. I was fortunate enough to visit family and friends in Warsaw last year and they are a great people. We must support and help our fellow Poles as much as we can, they deserve it.

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