I make a study of films, mostly alleged “good” movies. So I’m much likely to read a lot about a film before I watch it. Sometimes this ruins the effect, other times, it enriches my experience.
This one was different. I was able to experience the film detached from any pre-conceived notion of it.
I believe this is because Kieslowski movies are like magical mirrors. They are like mirages you can only dream. For that reason, this movie cannot teach you anything about film. It can only show you something about life.
There is a list of important movies you must watch in order to understand essential aspects of cinema. They are not necessarily classics, but they are necessary. Once you are done integrating those, you can watch this here. Everything you learned will appear useless. Yet, everything you need to know is right there.
Our century’s biggest problem is to find new ways to tell a story cinematically. This movie could have been the regular drama on film, a derivative of the theater, and still be affecting. But no. Someone decided to change the world, and our lives. His method has given us Medem and Kar-Wai, who are now working towards and beyond this.
Godardian feat: the poster of the movie is a poster in the movie. I believe this feature alone is what makes it a great success. Jacob as a model, both within, and outside.
Parallel realities meeting. But the most unique and sublime parallel is the judge’s meeting of Valentine, because it reflects ours. We are enthralled by her, we watch her movie, along with him (he is a “discrete” “watcher” of lives through wiretapping), and we sense the boat accident as much as he does.
If you’re the kind to learn how to swim by throwing yourself in deep waters, start with this.