The movie: Blue (and freedom)

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Fri Dec 21 2001 - 08:36:20 MST


Movies by Krzysztof Kieslowski enter my life at different times for
different reasons, and they've come up again, so I'll spend a few
moments here to describe one of my all-time favorites: the movie
_Blue_ (and the corresponding music by Zbigniew Preisner). (1993)

This movie begins with a tragedy, and, on the surface, it is about a
woman, Julie (played by Juliette Binoche), learning to accept and
grow out of the largest losses that one can possibly have. When she
loses her husband and daughter in a terrible car accident, for all
of its tragedy and drama, this is a luxurious situation: she is
completely free. Financially, she is provided for, and she has no
responsibilities. But how far is she really free? What does
'liberty' mean? Can one truly live a different life? Can one erase
the past? How far are we free from feelings? Is love a 'prison'? Or
is it freedom? In Blue, the main character faces a prison that she
creates by both her emotions and memory, and works her way out of
that prison with the help of music. She learns that she actually
can't free herself entirely from everything that's been.

Blue is also a movie about music. Musical notes often appear on the
screen, about the writing of music, about working on music. When
Julie tries to erase the past, the past comes back to her in the
music. The musician who scored this movie wrote the music for many
other Kieslowski's films, and in some sense, Kieslowski's films and
Preisner's music are inseparable. Kieslowski knew the 'atmosphere'
that he wanted to create, and Preisner, as the movie was being
filmed, created the music to bring out more of the atmosphere. One
composer cited in the movie: "Van der Budenmajer" is a fictitious
Dutch composer that is Zbigniew Preisner's joke, because the music
is really his. Preisner took all of his old works, cited a birth and
death for Van der Budenmajer, and catalogued them with catalogue
numbers used for recordings.

All three of the Kieslowski trilogy: _Red_, _White_, _Blue_ (blue:
liberty, white: equality, red: fraternity) are about people who have
some sort of intuition or sensibility, who have "gut feelings. Maybe
that's why I like these films alot. Kieslowski was (he died in
1997) a master at portraying the 'human condition', in very subtle,
and yet very moving ways.


Notes: _Kieslowski on Kieslowski_, by Krzysztof Kieslowski, edited
by Danusia Stok, Faber and Faber Publishers, 1993.

Amara Graps, PhD email:
Computational Physics vita:
Multiplex Answers URL:
"If you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into
you." - -Nietzsche

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