Three Colors Trilogy

(1993-1994)
   Three Colors: Blue (Trois couleurs: Bleu, 1993), Three Colors: White (Trois couleurs: Blanc, 1994), and Three Colors: Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge, 1994), a major cinematic achievement of the 1990s, is a trilogy inspired by the French tricolor flag, directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. The trilogy premiered at major European film festivals—Blue in Venice in September 1993, White in Berlin in February 1994, and Red in Cannes in May 1994— and won numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival for Blue. At the same festival, the Best Actress award was given to Juliette Binoche and the Best Cinematography award to Sławomir Idziak. White received the Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival (Best Director category). Although Red received no award at the Cannes International Film Festival (the grand prize, the Palme d'Or, was given to Quentin Tarantino for his Pulp Fiction), it received numerous other awards, including three Academy Award nominations in 1995 (direction, screenplay, and cinematography), four BAFTA nominations (direction, screenplay, actress, and non-English-language film), and several festival awards.
   Kieślowski produced the trilogy with a group of his frequent collaborators: coscriptwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz, composer Zbigniew Preisner, and cinematographers Sławomir Idziak (Blue), Edward Kłosiński (White), and Piotr Sobociński (Red). Although carefully designed as a trilogy and released as such within a short span of time, the three French-Polish-Swiss productions can be viewed separately, as Kieślowski indicated on several occasions. The Three Colors Trilogy is often cited as possessing several features of international art cinema. It is ostensibly self-reflexive and self-referential. As in Decalogue (1988) and The Double Life of Veronique (1991), characters appear and reappear and the director portrays many chance scenes with no apparent link to the story, rejects causal narrative, and peoples his films with familiar supporting characters. The same tendency toward mannerism is evident in the cinematography and mise-en-scene, including the extensive use of the films' key colors to stress each main theme and the reliance on mirror images, filters, and views through windows and doors. Kieslowski's trilogy was sometimes criticized by Polish scholars and critics for abandoning realistic social observations, which characterized his early films.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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