The car in the snow


Dekalog DVD.

Screen-shots from Kieslowski’s Dekalog 3, courtesy of my old Artificial Eye DVDs and the Arrow blu-ray set which arrived this morning. Watching the first couple of episodes on DVD earlier this week I was surprised to find that the picture quality was worse than I remembered—scratches and cue marks all over the place—and especially lacking after watching eight of Kieslowski’s other films in high-definition. I ought to have bought the Arrow collection when it was first released but it didn’t seem really necessary at the time. The picture quality of these restored films is so good I’m tempted to start again from the beginning when I’ve reached the end of the cycle, although going through the horrors of Dekalog 5 twice in one week would be a bit much.


Dekalog blu-ray.

Anyway, I recommend this set. (It’s also in the Criterion catalogue if you prefer their overpriced discs.) There’s been a spate of news and opinion pieces recently complaining about the current state of cinema, by which people mean American cinema since this is the only variety anyone is supposed to care about. With each fresh complaint all I can hear is John Lydon singing “Burn, Hollywood, burn”. It’s a big cinematic world out there, and “world cinema” is more than just a few shelves in an entertainment store.

• Further reading: “And So On”: Kieslowski’s Dekalog and the Metaphysics of the Everyday by Paul Coates.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Dekalog posters by Ewa Bajek-Wein

4 thoughts on “The car in the snow”

  1. I’d highly recommend Mubi as a good way to see a much wider range of global films. Originally received as a wedding present over five years ago, haven’t wanted to unsubscribe since.

  2. Amen to that, John. Let’s also burn the idea that in order for a filmmaker to ‘progress’, they have to make a ‘major’ film for a studio (the same could be said for authors who feel they have to jump ship from an indie publisher, lest they never ‘make it’).

  3. Colin: Yes, I might do that if I had any trouble finding things but so far this never seems to be a problem.

    Martin: I try to be sympathetic towards directors who want access to more resources but I started to lose my patience when things started to go beyond parody. The suggestion that a director like Ang Lee might make a film about the Hulk would have been a joke back in the 1990s. Same with all the supposedly parodic suggestions in The Player. We’re in a world of unparalleled riches today, there’s nothing to lose by looking elsewhere.

  4. Alan Partridge pitching increasingly desperate ideas to his BBC boss comes to mind here, John! But yes, all the riches are out there (and always have been) and it takes little willpower to turn away from the cineplex presentation of two human extremes on show this weekend and make your own choices. A recent triple-bill of both Nosferatu’s and The Shadow of the Vampire was my last “world of unparalleled riches”.

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