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Nov 29: Lecture: Poetry in Cinema (Malgorzata Bugaj)

              Film: The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski) 

In her lecture, Malgorzata Bugaj will briefly discuss Kieslowski’s early work in the context of post-war, communist Poland. Malgorzata will then move to a broader examination of the director’s French productions, particularly his acclaimed Three Colours trilogy. Finally, focusing on The Double Life of Veronique, she will dissect the audio-visual elements which create the haunting emotional resonance of the film, such as its soundtrack (by Zbigniew Preisner), or lighting, colour and camera work (by Slawomir Idziak). 

"All my life I've felt like I was here and somewhere else at the same time." 

Born in Poland, but working between his native country and France, Krzysztof Kieslowski is one of the most acknowledged directors of European cinema. His evocative and poetic, but at the same time powerful and daring films have been frequently compared to those of Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky or Terrence Malick.

Kieslowski's first film made outside Poland, The Double Life of Veronique explores themes of identity, love, and human intuition through the characters of Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. The two women do not know each other, and yet they share a mysterious and emotional bond that transcends language and geography.

 The Washington Post critic, Hal Hinson, said:  "The film takes us completely into its world, and in doing so, it leaves us with the impression that our own world, once we return to it, is far richer and portentous than we had imagined..... The effect on the viewer is subtle but very real."  In his review in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert wrote, "This is one of the most beautiful films I've seen.....The movie has a hypnotic effect. We are drawn into the character, not kept at arm's length with a plot." The critics also loved Irene Jacob, who plays Veronique/Weronika: David Parkinson said she was "simply sublime and thoroughly merited the Best Actress prize at Cannes."