cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

Concentrating on Kieslowski: man and work

GoogleBook facsimile.  Substantial part of text.

* Discusses of the Cinema of Moral Concern/Cinema of Moral Anxiety/Cinema of Distrust.

Corin Depper in Scope, reviews Kikasola book and explains Kickasola’s use of the notion of liminality in his analysis of Kieslowski’s films.

GoogleBook facsimile. Substantial part of text.

Review of book by Annette Insdorf

2-page review of Three Colours by Brain Udoff

Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Andres Veiel

by Dave Hall

Before Dekalog, Kieslowski had been first a documentary maker, then a politically-minded feature director in his native Poland: he was also an admirer of both Ken Loach and Ingmar Bergman, which helps point you in the direction of his sensibilities.

By Harvey Weinstein

Short quote

by Tadeusz Miczka
Translated by Andrzej Cimala

From :

When he died in 1996, the Polish auteur left a screenplay. Can Tom Tykwer – young German director of Run Lola Run – do it justice?

  • Richard Williams, in a 2006 Guardian article at the time of a Krzysztof Kieslowski Revisited season at the National Film Theatre, on the 10th. anniversary of Kieslowski’s death, gives many of the answers from Kieslowski himself:

“In the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, movies counted. Because everyone was against the communist system, it was easy for us to tell stories the public understood, even during censorship. Now, the audience doesn’t know what it wants to see, and we don’t know what we want to say.”

He decided to walk away to spend his time more constructively, messing about with his collection of power tools. Less than two years after his announcement, he died in a Warsaw hospital during heart surgery.


By 1984, when he made No End, Kieslowski was already winning prizes on the international festival circuit. This, however, was the first fruit of his collaboration with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, a trial lawyer who, that same year, would successfully prosecute the four state security men accused of murdering Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a young Warsaw priest who had spoken out in favour of Solidarity. Kieslowski and Piesiewicz met in court, while the director was attempting to film cases being tried under martial law; they would go on to create the screenplays for all Kieslowski’s remaining films.

Very helpful essay:

Blue” is a film of an intense subjectivity, where the camera sometimes occupies the body of the actor


Cinematographer Slawomir ldziak, whom Kieslowski calls upon for his most expressionistic work (A Short Film About Killing, The Double Life of Veronique), shoots with a depth of field so shallow, a focus so precise, that his lens can barely hold a single, small object in clear view.


In discussing “The Double Life of Veronique,” Kieslowski makes a distinction between the “synthetic” narrative style of the first, Polish half of the film by which he means a narrative that goes from episode to episode, covering a year or so of the heroine’s life in half an hour of screen time-and the “analytic” style of the French part, which focuses on Veronique’s state of mind as reflected in the nonnarrative elements of the mise-en-scene: camera placement, color, and so on.

The same distinction applies to the French and Polish components of “Three Colors”: Julie lives in a subjective, inwardly focused, visually oriented environment, Karol in an objective, aggressive, action- oriented world.

Website has brief synopses and filmographies of each of Dekalogs

Chris Pizzello reviews Three Colours in American Cinematography :

Kieslowski elaborates on his cinematic theory of “retroactive reasoning,” in which images that seem ambiguous upon first viewing accrue greater depth when revisited later on. In doing this, the director coaxes the viewer’s subconscious into making the connection between the images. A perfect example of this theory is the stunning final shot of Red, in which a seemingly banal image suddenly takes on profound meaning.

YouTube : The Cinema lesson 3/3

Krzysztof Kieślowski analyses scenes from Three Colours, including example of retroactive reasoning.

See also 1/3, 2/3.

* Compares Red cinematography of late Piotr Sobocinski to that of Vittorio Storaro in Bertolucci’s  The Conformist.

The Double Life of Veronique: Kieslowski and Pure Emotion Kevin Pearson

Blog, Mystery man on Film, post: Visual Storytelling – Kieslowski’s “Blue”

YouTube insert with search box.

Kieslowski’s Many Colours

Patrick Abrahamson: Oxford University Student newspaper, June 2, 1995

Interviewed Kieslowski


Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s blog: October 7, 1994 photo of Kieslowski. Text:

Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski is best known for his Three Colour Trilogy (Blue-White-Red). My impression of him is based on another colour. To be precise, a deep green. I photographed him for the Globe & Mail on October 7, 1994. I watched gentle Christopher Dafoe (check blog for Saturday, May 27) interview him in the legendary (for me since I have photographed so many people there) Sun Room of the Hotel Vancouver. Kieslowski did not look well and he was chain smoking. I go this impression that he was not going to be around for long. A year later he had a heart attack and barely recovered. He died March 13, 1996. When I pulled out my deep green filter he looked at me and smiled. “I am a photographer, too,” he said to me. “I know what a green filter does, exactly.” And he posed for me and winked. As he looked straight into my camera I saw a man who was preparing to die. And I also knew, he knew, exactly, what the photograph was going to look like.


November 17, 2008 - Posted by | film [its techniques], Kieslowski, Krzysztof Kieślowski |

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