Movie Night: Bleu

My wife and I invite friends over each week to screen a movie. On any given week, we might have plans for a spaghetti western, a Korean fantasy, a twisted Japanese superhero movie, or a classic screwball comedy.

For Jen, who’s been craving something a little more arty, last week’s entry was Bleu, the first of Krzysztof Kieślowski “three colors” trilogy released in 1993 and 1994. Kieślowski’s life as a filmmaker and the historical and political background on the films is fascinating stuff, and you should look it up. I’m not going to write about that.

Bleu sticks with me more for the understated performance of Juliette Binoche in the story of a woman trying to isolate herself from her former life after a devastating loss. It’s not exactly a tearjerker or a melodrama, but it’s sticks with you.

What really gets to me are the details, like a beggar playing the recorder reminding Julie of her husband’s unfinished score, or the discovery of a mouse and its litter in her new apartment. The latter moment is wonderful because while Julie can’t kill the pests herself, maybe because they’re a mother and children, but she borrows the landlord’s cat.

Of the three films, Bleu is perhaps the most popular. I recall preferring the concluding film, Rouge, and it’s tempting to screen Blanc and Rouge in the next two weeks, but we tend to jump around because everyone in the group has eclectic tastes and likes to discover new things. Sometimes I’ll have one film prepared, and then someone will casually mention that she’s never seen Casablanca and we have an emergency screening so we don’t have to shun her.

What good movies have you seen lately? Or what classic movies would you recommend?


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