For Your Lenten Friday Night at the Movies III, Three Colors: Blue

Juliette Binoche ponders her sorrows

As we roll into the third Friday of Lent, I’m in the mood for another film I missed that comes highly acclaimed. Some folks have listed it as one of the best Catholic movies that have ever been made.

If you believe that is a lofty claim, and I confess that I might wonder about this too, Rotten Tomatoes ranks this film at the 100% mark. Wikipedia summarizes tonights’ feature like so,

Three Colors: Blue is a 1993 French drama film written, produced, and directed by the acclaimed Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski. Blue is the first of three films that comprise The Three Colors Trilogy, themed on the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity; it is followed by White and Red. According to Kieślowski, the subject of the film is liberty, specifically emotional liberty, rather than its social or political meaning. Set in Paris, the film is about a woman whose husband and child are killed in a car accident. Suddenly set free from her familial bonds, she attempts to cut herself off from everything and live in isolation from her former ties, but finds that she cannot free herself from human connections.

Sounds interesting to me. Mysterious and complex. The folks over at the Criterion Collection give us three more reasons to watch this film.

Roll clip,

YouTube Preview Image

Good musical score too? Nice. The Cast?

Juliette Binoche as Julie de Courcy (née Vignon)
Benoît Régent as Olivier Benôit
Emmanuelle Riva as Madame Vignon, Julie’s mother
Florence Pernel as Sandrine
Guillaume de Tonquédec as Serge
Charlotte Very as Lucille
Julie Delpy (cameo) as Dominique

Music composed by Zbigniew Preisner. The music is performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia (Beata Rybotycka, Elżbieta Towarnicka, Jacek Ostaszewski, Konrad Mastyło, Silesian Filharmonic Choir, Sinfonia Varsovia, Wojciech Michniewski – conductor)

First up is a dinner of baked, parmesan cheese encrusted, talapia, with pancit with shrimp (a Filipino favorite) and mashed potatoes on the side. Unlike some of you, I did not give up beer for lent, so I’ll be washing dinner down with a freshly poured one of these.

The best part of the meal!

Then we’ll break out the popcorn and cue up the DVD. Public libraries with free DVD rentals are cool!

  • Hanna

    This looks excellent. Do you know if there’s anywhere to stream it legally?

    • Frank Weathers

      I don’t know, though I know it’s not on Netflix, unfortunately.

  • LC

    I love Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy! I just rewatched all three in a row a few weeks ago. They are available to stream on Hulu Plus, along with many other films from the Criterion Collection.

  • Michael Barger (@MichaelBarger1)

    Another Polish film of Catholic interest is Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn about the massacre of Polish officers and intellectuals by the Soviets in WWII.

    There is a moving scene of a chaplain hearing confessions surreptitiously behind a newspaper in the place where they are being held.

    Another scene takes place on Christmas Eve, which is called Wigilia or The Vigil. Usually children are sent out to see the first star, which signals that the Christmas feast may begin.

    In the case of the imprisoned soldiers the general sends out a soldier to see the first star. When he returns all the soldiers led by the general sing the great Polish Christmas hymn Bog Sie Rodzi “God is born! Great powers tremble.”

    It is a remarkable text that plays with paradox in the manner of the hymns by St. Romanos the Melodist in the Byzantine tradition.

    Pope John Paul II based a talk on the text at Cristmas in 1996. The scene of the soldiers singing Bog Sie Rodzhi is profoundly moving.

    There is much else of Catholic interest in the film. And perhaps because of its darkness and tragedy it is a good film to view during Lent.

  • Iwona

    Did you like it? What did you think?

    • Frank Weathers

      I did like it, though I didn’t necessarily “enjoy” it. I think I need to watch it again.

      Thanks to LC for the Hulu Plus FYI. Much obliged.

      • Iwona

        Oh, good.
        This is a kind of cinema Eastern Europeans like to make and watch. :-)

  • Maggie Goff

    I just accessed it on Hulu Plus and will be watching it soon. Thank you, LC!
    And Frank, of course. :)

  • Mark.

    Ah, tilapia. I have a strange new respect for fish of that genus since I learned that Peter and his colleagues caught them in the Sea of Galilee… not the same species most of us get in stores, but a relative. It may have been tilapia roasting on the shore for that memorable meal after the Resurrection.