4.11.07

compelling and sensuous



'The Double Life of Veronique' cast a deep spell on me. The world of that film is a world like the one i would live in if i could choose a world.

i was also fascinated by the supplemental documentary of the making of the film, in which kieslowski discusses the impetus behind the making of it. i found myself hanging onto his every word. i was specifically taken by what he said regarding documentary as a genre. apparently he started out wanting to make documentaries. but then he realized there were too many areas of life that a documentary couldn't, and shouldn't, cover about human intimacy and the way things are. he said: "you can't take the camera into people's bedrooms while they're making love, because to make love they have to be alone without the camera... to film people's innermost thoughts and emotions that they show to no one, to film that i need an actor, glycerin tears, and a fake death. everything has to be fake to look real onscreen. thanks to all these fake things i can breathe life into my story. it's more interesting in real life but you should never film those things in real life. that's why i don't make documentaries anymore."

i have had that feeling of wanting to photograph someone, freeze the moment of them being in the moment, standing a certain way against the light, holding a certain gesture, portraying some compelling emotion, and then shying away from actually taking the picture because it seemed as if i would be intruding upon the intimacy of that moment that was his or hers, and not mine. kieslowski addresses this in his film and in his explanations about the film's meaning for him. we have to live "carefully and attentively," he says, because we never know how our slightest action may affect the lives of others. this is a sense i have also had, of the minutest ripples that could send me off my axis if they converged in some specific way, of the havoc i obliviously wreak, the chain reactions of which i am a domino. how many strangers' memories am i in? how many people's vacation pictures feature the back of my head? this movie will make you think about these things, and make you wonder if you don't also have your own double, living a parallel life to yours, providing you with a vague and elusive sense of equilibrium that, if you tried to articulate, would come out sounding clunky and trivial.

1 comment:

BB said...

I loved this film. As a side effect, it also made me want to buy a lot of fabulous marionettes...