The Three Colours trilogy (French : Trois couleurs, Polish : Trzy kolory) is the collective title of three psychological drama films directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski: Three Colours: Blue (1993), Three Colours: White (1994), and Three Colours: Red (1994), represented by the Flag of France. An international co-production between France, Poland, and Switzerland in the French language, with the exception of White in Polish and French, all three installments were co-written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz (with story consultants Agnieszka Holland and Sławomir Idziak), produced by Marin Karmitz and composed by Zbigniew Preisner.
All three films garnered widespread acclaim from reviews, with Red receiving nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography at the 67th Academy Awards.
Blue, white, and red are the colours of the French flag in hoist-to-fly order, and the story of each film is loosely based on one of the three political ideals in the motto of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity. As with the treatment of the Ten Commandments in Dekalog , the illustration of these principles is often ambiguous and ironic. As Kieślowski noted in an interview with an Oxford University student newspaper: "The words [liberté, egalité, fraternité] are French because the money [to fund the films] is French. If the money had been of a different nationality, we would have titled the films differently, or they might have had a different cultural connotation. But the films would probably have been the same".
The trilogy has also been interpreted by film critic Roger Ebert as, respectively, an anti-tragedy, an anti-comedy, and an anti-romance.
A symbol common to the three films is that of an underlying link or thing that keeps the protagonist linked to their past. In the case of Blue, it is the lamp of blue beads, and a symbol seen throughout the film in the TV of people falling (doing either sky diving or bungee jumping); the director is careful to show falls with no cords at the beginning of the film, but as the story develops the image of cords becomes more and more apparent as a symbol of a link to the past. In the case of White the item that links Karol to his past is a 2 Fr. coin and a plaster bust of Mariannethat he steals from an antique store in Paris. In the case of Red, the judge never closes or locks his doors and his fountain pen, which stops working at a crucial point in the story.
Another recurring image related to the spirit of the film is that of elderly people recycling bottles: In Blue, an old woman in Paris is recycling bottles and Julie does not notice her (in the spirit of freedom); in White, an old man also in Paris is trying to recycle a bottle but cannot reach the container and Karol looks at him with a sinister grin on his face (in the spirit of equality); and in Red, an old woman cannot reach the hole of the container and Valentine helps her (in the spirit of fraternity).
In Blue, while Julie is searching for her husband's mistress in the central courthouse, she accidentally steps into an active court trial and is immediately turned around by security. While Julie is peeking into the courtroom, Karol from White can be heard pleading to the judge in a scene that begins his chapter of the trilogy.
Each film's ending shot is of a character crying. In Blue, Julie de Courcy cries looking into space. In White, Karol cries as he looks at his wife. In Red, the judge Kern cries as he looks through his broken window out at the camera.
Many main characters from Blue and White, including Julie and Karol, appear at the ending of Red as survivors of a ferry accident.
|Three Colors (soundtracks)
|Soundtrack album by
|1993 - 1994
Music for all three parts of the trilogy was composed by Zbigniew Preisner and performed by Silesian Philharmonic choir along with Sinfonia Varsovia.
|98% (56 reviews)
|87 (11 reviews)
|89% (55 reviews)
|91 (11 reviews)
|100% (63 reviews)
|100 (11 reviews)
The trilogy as a whole topped The San Diego Union-Tribune 's list of the best films of 1994, ranked third on San Jose Mercury News writer Glenn Lovell's year-end list, ten on a list by Michael Mills of The Palm Beach Post , and was also on unranked top-tens list by Tulsa World 's Dennis King and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution critics Eleanor Ringel and Steve Murray. Roger Ebert ranked the trilogy as a whole at No. 5 on his list of the "Best films of 1990s". He also included the trilogy in its entirety to his "Great Movies" list.
Ranked #11 in Empire magazine's "The 33 Greatest Movie Trilogies" in 2010.
Ranked #14 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010.
Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish period drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film, set in a mansion at the end of the 19th century, is about three sisters and a servant who struggle with the terminal cancer of one of the sisters (Andersson). The servant (Sylwan) is close to her, while the other two sisters confront their emotional distance from each other.
Three Colours: Blue is a 1993 drama film directed and co-written by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski. It is the first of three films that make up the Three Colours trilogy, themed on the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, 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.
Krzysztof Kieślowski was a Polish film director and screenwriter. He is known internationally for Dekalog (1989), The Double Life of Veronique (1991), and the Three Colours trilogy (1993 –1994). Kieślowski received numerous awards during his career, including the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize (1988), FIPRESCI Prize, and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (1991); the Venice Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize (1989), Golden Lion (1993), and OCIC Award (1993); and the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear (1994). In 1995, he received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Three Colours: White is a 1994 comedy-drama film co-written, produced and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. White is the second in the Three Colours trilogy, themed on the French Revolutionary ideals, following Blue and preceding Red. The film was selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 67th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
Zbigniew Preisner is a Polish film score composer, best known for his work with film director Krzysztof Kieślowski. He is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis as well as the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. He is a member of the French Film Academy.
Irène Marie Jacob is a French-Swiss actress known for her work with Polish film director Krzysztof Kieślowski. She won the 1991 Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the Kieślowski film The Double Life of Veronique, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her 1994 film Three Colours: Red. Her other film appearances include The Secret Garden (1993), Beyond the Clouds (1995), U.S. Marshals (1998), and Eternity (2016).
Julie Delpy is a French-American actress, filmmaker, composer, and singer-songwriter. She studied filmmaking at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has directed, written, and acted in more than 30 films, including Europa Europa (1990), Voyager (1991), Three Colours: White (1993), the Before trilogy, An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), and 2 Days in Paris (2007).
Dekalog is a 1989 Polish drama television miniseries directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and co-written by Kieślowski with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with music by Zbigniew Preisner. It consists of ten one-hour films, inspired by the decalogue of the Ten Commandments. Each short film explores characters facing one or several moral or ethical dilemmas as they live in an austere housing project in 1980s Poland.
The Double Life of Veronique is a 1991 drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Irène Jacob. Written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, the film explores the themes of identity, love, and human intuition through the characters of Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. Despite not knowing each other, the two women share a mysterious and emotional bond that transcends language and geography.
The Doom Generation is a 1995 independent black comedy thriller film co-produced, co-edited, written and directed by Gregg Araki, and starring Rose McGowan, James Duval and Jonathan Schaech. The plot follows two troubled teenage lovers who pick up an adolescent drifter and embark on a journey full of sex, violence, and convenience stores.
Jerzy Oskar Stuhr is a Polish film and theatre actor. He is one of the most popular, influential and versatile Polish actors. He also works as a screenwriter, film director and drama professor. He served as the Rector of the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków for two terms: from 1990 to 1996 and again from 2002 to 2008.
Zbigniew Zamachowski is a Polish actor.
Three Colors: Blue is the soundtrack album to the award-winning film Three Colors: Blue, with music composed by Zbigniew Preisner. The music is performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia.
White is the soundtrack to the film Three Colors: White by Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner and performed by Silesian Philharmonic choir along with Sinfonia.
Three Colors: Red is the soundtrack album to the award-winning film Three Colors: Red, with music composed by Zbigniew Preisner. The music is performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia.
No End is a 1985 film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Grażyna Szapołowska, Maria Pakulnis, and Aleksander Bardini. The film is about the state of martial law in Poland after the banning of the trade union Solidarity in 1981. Kieślowski worked with several regular collaborators for the first time on No End.
Three Colours: Red is a 1994 romantic mystery film co-written, produced and directed by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski. It is the final installment of the Three Colours trilogy, which examines the French Revolutionary ideals; it is preceded by Blue and White. Kieślowski had announced that this would be his final film, which proved true with the director's sudden death in 1996. Red is about fraternity, which it examines by showing characters whose lives gradually become closely interconnected, with bonds forming between two characters who appear to have little in common.
Requiem for My Friend is a major and the first non-film musical work composed by Zbigniew Preisner. The composition was meant to honour the composer's late friend, the director Krzysztof Kieślowski, with whom he collaborated while working on a number of films, including the famous Three Colours trilogy. The album was released in 1998, although some parts of the work must have been ready upon Kieślowski's passing in 1996, as Preisner asserted in an interview that "the Requiem had accompanied Krzysztof in his last journey".
Elżbieta Towarnicka is a Polish operatic soprano who made an international career based at the Opera Krakowska. She is also known for singing for films, especially with music by Zbigniew Preisner including the theme song of Avalon.
Fictional music is music created for a fictional work, featured in a narrative, and composed by one or more of the work's fictional characters.