Wednesday, April 12, 2006

As many ways to view the film as there are viewers

A review of The Double Life of Veronique by Noel Megahey (DVD Times). The UK release of the DVD is scheduled for 24/4/06.

Attempting to define La Double Vie de Veronique down to any single understandable reading however is not recommended and probably impossible – and you should distrust anyone who attempts to provide a commentary to "explain" this film. This is not a film to be rationalised, but simply felt. Every single scene in Kieslowski's films is designed to provoke a response in the viewer, but that response is not predefined or predetermined. The director knows there are as many ways to view the film as there are people to watch it and La Double Vie de Veronique consequently touches people in an indefinable and deeply personal way.

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To illustrate the point that there are as many ways to view the film as there are viewers, let's look at the use of colour in the film.

Noel Megahey (DVD Times) says it "has a beautifully composed and stylised look, dominated by golden glows and luminous greens in which red is the only colour that stands out. It looks absolutely stunning on this Artificial Eye presentation, the richness of the tones simply radiating off the screen."

Tim Robey (The Telegraph), however, complains that "the showy cinematography bathes everything in the same sickly yellow light. It's really quite tough going."

Gary Tooze (DVDBeaver) is more analytical and states that the image "is decidedly green-ish and I will have to consult some individuals to determine if this was intentional. I don't recall my old VHS looking this way BUT I do recall reading about discussions of this with Kielsowski's cameraman at the time. ... The film was photographed using a golden yellow filter, and the resulting sepia-cum-russet color scheme was apparently further augmented with the deliberate elimination of the color blue from the film's spectrum. True blue appears only a few times in the picture, in each instance reflecting a subjective feeling of love or otherness."