Films I’ve watched recently

2017 is going to be a year of watching films, largely because of the wonders of Cineworld Unlimited membership, but also because I watched far too few films in 2016. The following are the ones I watched in the first month of membership:

Rogue One

I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but I didn’t know how much I wanted something that was set in the same universe but didn’t contain any of my favourite characters. As it turns out I think it’s my fourth favorite film in the franchise (after Empire Strikes Back, A New Hope and The Force Awakens), and I’ve already added the DVD to my wish list as I’d quite like to watch it again when I’m not dying from some sort of chest infection.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I saw this straight after Rogue One (about 10 minutes after in fact), but it was enjoyable enough and entertained me without making me think too much. At the time that was a welcome distraction, but I suspect I’ll never watch it again until I binge watch the whole series at some undefined point in the future.

Passengers

This is a film that seems to divide opinions. Personally I liked it, and I thought it provoked some interesting moral discussions. There are things I would have changed, but the basic premise is an interesting one, and I’m not sure most of the negativity I’ve heard about it is justified (which I can’t really expand on without major spoilers).

Assassin’s Creed

I’m really not sure about this. It was ok, but probably the only example this month of something that I’m glad I didn’t really pay to see (two films a month covers membership). I also thought it was far too loud, and I found my dislike of loud noise getting in the way of my enjoyment of the film.

La La Land

I usually don’t like musicals, or films that feature a romance between the two main characters as a major plot. Passengers cured me of the second one, but La La Land pretty much dealt the killer blow on both. I love this film, and I can not only relate to both main characters, but I actually liked the music quite a lot as well. Probably the best film I’ve seen this month, and something I will definitely come back to.

Lion

“Based on a true story” explains a lot of what puzzled me about this film, and I’m sure that if it wasn’t based on a true story then a lot of things might have happened differently. That said, I really enjoyed it and while it was nothing like the trailer, it was a pleasant enough way to spend a Sunday afternoon and certainly managed to provoke a genuinely emotional reaction at times.


That’s more films than I watched in the whole of the year before (certainly at the cinema), and I’ve already got quite a long list for the next 11 months.

2017 plans

It’s 2017. It’s been 2017 for a while, but as I was ill for most of the Christmas holidays, today is the first time I’ve really thought about the fact that it’s a new year, and that I’m back at work tomorrow.

I don’t really make resolutions, but I think I may be kicking off some new projects in 2017.

Towards the end of December we bought year-long Cineworld unlimited cards, which means we need to see two films per month (at least), or something like 22 or 23 over the year. We have seen three so far (in three days). Seeing films as they come out gives me something new to blog about, so I’ll likely be writing about some of them, especially if I feel I’ve got something to add that I’ve not read elsewhere.

I started using my iPad more (and my computer less) a couple of months ago, and I’m finding that to be sufficiently liberating that I might want to blog about it. I feel slightly less enthusiastic about the Surface Pro 4 I use for work now, but I may also find that there are Windows 10/Surface Pro specific things I want to blog about as well.

I plan on buying a lot less music this year, and using Spotify for pretty much everything to do with discovering and playing new music. I have my existing collection available on all my devices anyway, but this year I want Spotify to be the default way I consume music (unless it’s vinyl of course). I don’t plan on buying much more than what I get with my Rough Trade subscription (11 records, plus whatever freebies I get), although I will be putting things I really like on my wish list around birthday and Christmas time (so June and December). My hope is that I’ll spend a lot less on music, and will also get to spend more time with things I do buy. As a. result of this I won’t be posting monthly lists of things I’ve listened to, but might start writing about specific things in more depth. Today I bought a new perspex box that will fit around 20 records in it, and that should be all my music-related storage needs sorted for this year (which is just as well as I’m running out of space).

I didn’t do a great deal of socialising for most of 2016, for a variety of reasons. I don’t really have a plan to fix this, although starting a new job a month ago has already shaken things up a little in that respect and it’s quite possible that it will sort itself out organically. If nothing else, I’m going to be going to the cinema a lot more this year, which is a step in the right direction.

I might of course do none of these things and do something else instead, but I thought it was worth a statement of intent at the start of the year.

Bad Timing, Eureka, Insignificance and other such things

24rd August – From Rome with Love – Another Woody Allen film, and another one that I enjoyed without being totally bowled over by it. There is quite a lot going on, and the multiple narratives can get confusing at times, but it was well acted and directed, and I am certainly glad I watched it. One thing that struck me is that Woody Allen is looking really old (probably because he is), and I was also quite surprised by how much of this film was in Italian, as I wasn’t actually expecting that despite the title.

2nd September – Ab-normal Beauty – I’ve been meaning to watch this for ages, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s visually stunning, with a spellbinding soundtrack, and was obviously made with a lot of love. It’s an 18 rating (and deserves to be), but if you’re not put off by that (or by the fact it’s subtitled) then it is well worth a watch.

2nd September – Bad Timing – Jim O’Rourke’s Bad Timing is one of my all time favourite records, and was inspired by this film (or at least named after it). O’Rourke also named his next two albums after Nicolas Roeg films (Eureka and Insignificance), and I thought it might be interesting to watch all three films back to back (or as it turned out over a three day period) as I’ve recently listened to the albums they inspired. Bad Timing stars Art Garfunkel, and is what I would probably describe as a psychological thriller. It’s fairly non-linear, but does have a strong narrative once you assemble the component parts, and if you can get past some of the dubious 80s fashion sense then it is certainly very watchable. I think this is a film I want to watch more than once, and I have a feeling that repeated viewings may divulge more meaning.

3rd September – Eureka – As with Bad Timing, I know the music inspired by Eureka far better than the film itself. Eureka was actually the first Jim O’Rourke CD I bought (in 1999, when it came out). From Eureka I worked backwards to Bad Timing, and then further back to his more experimental work that probably influenced me more than anything else I currently listen to. Although I was impressed by Bad Timing (the film), I had no such expectations for Eureka, due to the very mainstream casting choices and the fact it was based on a true story that didn’t particularly engage me. The first ten minutes changed my mind, and I really think whoever wrote the blurb and designed the DVD cover for this one should have tapped into the darkness that is definitely present rather than try and sell it as yet another 80s blockbuster. I also think it could have done with some serious editing, as the pacing in the middle is far too slow for my tastes, but then I’ve always said 90 minutes is my perfect film length, and this adds around 35 minutes to that. All in all, it’s a watchable film, but one that I don’t particularly want to watch again any point soon.

4th September – Blood and Chocolate – This film is named after my favourite Elvis Costello record, and is also about werewolves. As such, it was almost certainly going to be disappointing on some level. Blood and Chocolate isn’t a bad film as such, it’s just a film that is not quite sure what it wants to be (specifically it does not know if it wants to be horror or romantic comedy). It’s visually impressive, but once you scratch beneath the surface then there isn’t a great deal of substance until the final half an hour, and I wish that the care and attention that was obviously taken on the locations and sets permeated the rest of the film. I suppose the closest point of reference I have is Hemlock Grove, which I much prefer, and which does a very good job of making the supernatural element subtle and understated. Blood and Chocolate is neither of these things, and as such is far less satisfying.

5th September – Glass : A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts – This is a documentary about Philip Glass. I’m not massively familiar with his music, and as such had no real expectations regarding this film. It’s actually a really interesting snapshot into a creative mind, and it makes me want to check out more of his music now. I also have no idea why I added this to my watch list, but I’m glad that I did, because I really enjoyed it.

5th September – Insignificance – Marilyn Monroe, Joseph McCarthy, Joe DiMaggio, and Albert Einstein walk into a room. By that of course I mean The Actress, The Senator, The Ballplayer, and The Professor walk into a room. And hilarity ensues. Insignificance is the third Nicolas Roeg film to influence a Jim O’Rourke album title. It’s a comedy drama, with characters who look and behave a lot like famous people from 1954. As a premise, it’s fairly original, and it does work on some levels. I suspect I would have got more out of this if I’d known more about the famous people’s lives, but it is still entertaining enough for a lazy Friday night. Talking of which, I should get round to posting this before I leave for London in the morning.

The road to Manderlay

My film watching has been fairly sporadic over the last few weeks, due to being quite busy, and not having a great deal of energy in the evenings. I’ve found it hard to watch anything too challenging, and as a result I found myself dipping back into the sort of films I’ve not watched for a few years. I also found myself writing less about them, but hopefully just enough to make recording them here a worthwhile exercise.

30th June – Captain America – Enjoyable enough to have on in the background, but it didn’t really draw me in, and I’m beginning to think this isn’t the genre for me.

3rd July – Europa – I really should have ripped this with subtitles. My German isn’t quite good enough it seems. I think I will have to come back to this one.

21st July – Xmen : First Class – One of the better superhero films. I actually quite enjoyed it, and I think that the people who made Captain America could learn a lot about how to do a historical superheroes film well. Or maybe I just like Xmen more?

26th July – Xmen – The original and best. I’ve seen this about 10 times and it’s very much a comfort film for me. I can’t even really articulate quite why I like it though.

1st August – Festen – My first Dogme 95 film, and certainly not my last. Powerful stuff for a Friday night, but compelling from beginning to end. I like the fact that the director set himself limitations, as it resulted in something that doesn’t look quite like any other film I’ve seen. And I do think that the total lack of music and effects made the story stand out all the more.

See http://www.dogme95.dk/dogma-95/ for more details on the Dogme 95 movement and an explanation as to why this film looks a bit odd in places.

4th August – Manderlay – The sequel to Dogville, although with a change of lead actress (Nicole Kidman being replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard). John Hurt’s narration is the highlight for me, and while I’m not sure the story is quite as strong as Dogville, it is still very watchable and has a strong social message. I think it’s probably worth watching the two films back to back, and I am very much looking forward to the third part of the trilogy. I also particularly liked the fact that Bowie’s Young Americans was played over the credits, as it was with Dogville. I think Lars Von Trier is fast becoming my favourite director, having now seen and enjoyed his last 5 films (I think that’s right – Dogville, Manderlay, Antichrist, Melancholia and Nymphomania).

Factory Girl, Avengers, and potential projects

In my holiday writeup I mentioned I’d watched Factory Girl whilst I was away. As my viewing time is currently largely taken up with the World Cup, I thought I’d better write something about Factory Girl before I forget.

30th May – Factory Girl – Factory girl tells the story of Edie Sedgwick, but also of Andy Warhol, and a mysterious character called “The Musician” (more about him later). It’s a biopic, which as far as I can tell does a fairly good job of portraying the late 60s, and which I certainly found enjoyable enough. I watched this on holiday, and so didn’t do my normal trick of seeing who was in the film, and what else they had been in. When I got to the credits I was a little surprised (in a good way) to see Guy Pearce (as Andy Warhol) and Hayden Christiansen (as “The Musician”) listed, as I’d not recognised either of them (which I always regard as a good thing). I was also not at all surprised to read the disclaimer that whilst this was a biopic, some characters and scenarios might be made up. The character of “The Musician” was very obviously meant to be Bob Dylan, and I think the only think I would change about this film is to soundtrack it with Dylan’s music (and also the music of the Velvet Underground who feature to a lesser extent). It’s a pity Dylan didn’t want his name associated with this film, because it’s actually well worth watching and made me want to tap into his back catalogue again (which I did as soon as I got home). I have no idea how accurate some of the scenes in the film were, but as a story it really works, and it was certainly more thought provoking than the sort of thing I usually watch on holiday.

Which brings me on to…

8th June – Avengers Assemble – A lot has already been said about this film, and I don’t have much to add. It does what is says on the tin, and was a couple of hours of mindless enjoyment on a Sunday afternoon. I suspect I should have watched a few other films in the series before this one, but I’m glad I did it this way round because I now have a better idea of which characters I want to explore further (Captain America, The Hulk) and which ones leave me cold (Iron Man, Thor, pretty much everyone else). I suspect several people I know really love this film, but I also suspect the same people would balk at a lot of films I really value. I don’t see this as a bad thing though, as it’s good to be surrounded by people with diverse tastes as it ensures that I’m exposed to a much wider range of things I may never have discovered otherwise.

I was also toying with a couple more projects this morning. The idea of trying to watch (live or pre-recorded) every single match of the World Cup sort of appeals, as does writing something around the Blue Note channel on Spotify, which has a huge catalogue of old jazz records that I’ve never heard and really want to explore properly at some point. I’ve created Evernote notes for both of these, so something may happen at some point.

Films, travel, and being offline

I watched a couple of films last weekend which I totally failed to blog about, and seeing as I’m flying out to Bulgaria this afternoon and won’t be online for a week or so, I thought I would write about them before I leave.

18th May – Stoker – The narrative of this film is fairly simple. A man dies, and his brother moves in with his widow and teenage daughter following the funeral. There is a lot more to it than that, but as a basic summary I think that is enough. What makes this film stand out for me is exemplary performances by Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman (who has surprised me in a good way for the second film running), and the fact that there is a genuine sense of darkness, suspense and mystery that runs throughout the film. I enjoyed it, I’d recommend it, and I don’t think I can say much more than that.

18th May (later) – Blue Jasmine – I’m still not sure about Woody Allen, even though I’ve quite enjoyed everything I’ve seen of his. Blue Jasmine is from 2013, and is another film that explores relationships between people in a world of changing circumstances. I didn’t hate it, and it certainly compares favourably to most other Woody Allen films I’ve seen, but there was nothing about it that was particularly spectacular, and as a result I don’t really have a lot more to say about it.

I do plan on taking things with me to watch, although probably nothing too challenging. I’ve also downloaded a few books to keep me entertained – I’m one book into The Kills by Richard House, and I may also finally get round to reading Neil Gaiman’s new book which a lot of other people have raved about.

I will of course be blogging and photographing my travels over the next week or so, but it may be a while before I get round to sharing anything with the wider world.

Recent watchings

25th April – Byzantium – I’ve been meaning to watch this for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a British/Irish vampire film, that twists the myth slightly, but that largely works both on a narrative and thematic level. Gemma Arterton is a lot better than I thought she would be, and Saoirse Ronan puts in a really good performance as an eternal 16 year old who demonstrates a spellbinding mix of youth and maturity. If you like vampire films then you’ll probably like this, and it is certainly in a different league to the likes of Twilight. I should probably mention that there is a fair amount of blood and bleeding in this film, but I suppose that is what you would expect considering the subject matter.

4th May – Nymphomaniac part 1 – Reading about Nymphomaniac  a few months ago is what made me check out several of Lars von Trier’s other films, and I was very much looking forward to watching it at some point. The film is about Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is found in an alleyway by Seligman, a charming and well educated old bachelor. Over the course of the two films, she recounts the chronology of her sexual evolution to him, from childhood to the age of 50, and the two of them discuss the various episodes from her past. It explores a lot of the same themes as von Trier’s other films, and is well made, well acted, and very thought provoking, and I found Stacy Martin as the young Joe particularly spellbinding. This certainly isn’t for everyone, and it contains several very strong sexual scenes, but it is also incredibly thought provoking, and would probably appeal to anyone who thinks deep and complex thoughts about love, sexuality, gender roles and human relationships in general.

4th May (later) – Nymphomaniac part 2 – This concludes the story, and is in many ways a darker film (and certainly a much more violent film) than the first part. It also has a few plot twists, so I won’t say much more about how the story evolves for fear of spoiling it. All in all I mostly enjoyed both parts, and would certainly have been interested in seeing them as one continuous piece. It made me feel uncomfortable in several places, but it was the sort of discomfort that provokes valuable thought, which I see as largely a good thing.

17th May – Jubilee – I had no idea what to expect from this film. I’ve not seen any of Derek Jarman’s other films, and I only really stumbled on this one by accident in the library. It is quite pretentious in parts, but I actually found it an enjoyable Saturday morning distraction, and I certainly don’t regret watching it. If 70s punk crossed with Elizabethan mysticism is your thing then you may very well enjoy this, although it is interesting to see that the 70s scenes seem much more dated that those set further back in time or in a more mystical setting. I’m not quite sure I can summarise what this film is actually about, but I can certainly see why it received a fair amount of critical acclaim at the time.

Easter Watchings

20th April – The Matrix – I picked this because I wanted something light to watch on Easter Sunday, and because I spent the holidays ripping old DVDs and wanted to actually watch a few of them too. Ok, It’s not that light, but it is at least in English and has a fairly easy to follow narrative. The Matrix is one of the first films I bought when I got my first DVD player, and I still have a soft spot for the whole series. I’m probably alone in thinking that this is the weakest of the three, but then it’s the only one I didn’t see in the cinema, and this is a series that really benefits from a big screen and the ability to totally immerse. I think I probably need to watch the other two films at some point soon.

21st April – The Matrix Reloaded – See above. It was always my favourite of the three, but doesn’t really work as a stand alone film in the way that the first one does. Some would say that it’s just an extended fight scene with some mystic mumbo-jumbo bolted on, but I think it’s easy to forget that at the time there was nothing else like this. I also think it needs to be watched back to back with part 3, which is exactly what I did.

21st April (later) – The Matrix Revolutions – I remember seeing this in the cinema in 2003 when it came out. I was disappointed at the time, as I didn’t think it really added anything to the story, whilst being even more combat-heavy than Reloaded. Watching it now, I think I appreciate it more, although I do sort of wish that the two films had been edited down into one, because it take a very long time for not a great deal to happen. I’m glad I watched these again, but it might take me another few years before I decide I need them in my life again.

22nd April – Dogville – After a sci-fi overload, I decided to dip into the back catalogue of Lars von Trier again. Dogville was very critically acclaimed when it came out, and is quite innovative, in that it is shot on a very sparse chalk-marked set, in a way that reminds me of the theatre of Brecht (or in fact of small intimate theatres in general). The set gives it an otherworldly quality, but the story and dialogue are quite the opposite, and the juxtaposition of the two really works. I’ll not give too much away about the story itself, because there are a few twists and turns, but suffice to say it kept me entertained from beginning to end. John Hurt’s narrative really adds a lot, and ties the whole story together well, and there are some very strong performances, especially from Nicole Kidman as Grace. Lars von Trier writes strong female characters very well, and this is another good example of a film where the actions of a strong woman are the catalyst for change. The character of Grace features again in von Trier’s Mandalay (albeit played by a different actress), and watching Dogville makes me want to hunt down Mandalay soon. Quentin Tarantino said that had the film been written for the stand then von Trier would have won a Pulitzer prize. I think he might have been right.

23rd April – Frances Ha  – I figured something lighter was in order after watching Dogville, and so I settled on Frances Ha, which was released last year and featured on several “best of” lists. Despite being made and set in the modern day, it was filmed in black and white, which gives it a really timeless feel (although seeing iPhones and modern Macs in a black and white film was a bit odd). It reminds me a lot of 1960’s French cinema, which I don’t think is an accident, and I think the choice to film it in black and white is a good one. The film itself is fairly light, and centres around the life of the eponymous Frances, who is going through most of the things that the average 20-something encounters when life is going quite as planned. No-one dies, the world doesn’t end, but the performances and dialogue are first class, and I think this is something I would both recommend and watch again. (Also, it amused me that the last two films I’ve watched have a David Bowie song playing over the closing credits. Dogville has Young Americans and Frances Ha has Modern Love. I like it when things like that happen).

Films I’ve watched since January 2014

12th January – Battlestar Galactica : The Plan. I watched this on the back of re-watching the whole TV show over Christmas. As a companion to the series it works well, and I really enjoyed it, but as a stand alone piece it is somewhat lacking. It’s set at various points throughout the series, but contains spoilers that mean it should only be watched after everything else. I guess it’s the Battlestar Galactica equivalent of Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me, and if it is considered as such then I suppose it works.

16th February – Angels and Demons. This was watched on holiday, and very much has the feel of a holiday read. It’s perfectly enjoyable, but doesn’t really compel me to think or write about it, which means it fails on some levels I suppose.

28th March – Kill Bill : Part 1 & 2. I’ve not watched these for what is probably the best part of 10 years. I watched them back to back, and I definitely think they work well as one single piece. This is in no way the sort of film I usually rave about, but I think they are well made, very visually stimulating, and they use music  excellently to set the mood. I also realised that parts of them are not in English, and I didn’t rip subtitles when I digitised the DVD. Oh well.

29th March – Antichrist . I had been meaning to watch some of Lars von Trier’s films for a while, after reading an article about him. I found two on Netflix this weekend, and started with this because it’s the older of the two. I found it beautiful and disturbing in equal parts, and it pretty much sent shivers down my spine from the first few seconds. William Defoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg both give really strong performances, with what must have been very difficult material to film, and although I found a lot of it quite uncomfortable, I am certainly glad I watched it. I should also probably point out that this film is triggering in quite a few ways, in that it centres around the death of a child, and is also graphically sexual and violent. It may not be to everyone’s taste, and it is something I would recommend watching alone and in a darkened room, if you watch it at all.

30th March – Melancholia. Following straight on from Antichrist I watched another Lars von Trier film, which again starred Charlotte Gainsbourg, along with Kirstin Dunst (who was particularly outstanding) and Kiefer Sutherland (who was about as wooden as he usually is). I’d read a fair bit about this film before watching it, and so I knew it was literally and metaphorically about depression, with a side order of end-of-the-world science fiction. None of this does it justice though, and it’s actually one of the best made, most moving, and most visually stunning films I’ve seen for a long time. The two female leads are outstanding, the dialogue is great, and the opening section of the film is one of the most emotive pieces of cinema I’ve seen for a while. I may not see a better film than this in 2014, and I would actually be fine with that.

It’s probably worth mentioning I also watched the whole 10 parts of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Dekalog during February and March 2014. It’s technically a TV series, but certainly warrants a mention at this point, because it’s something else I enjoyed a great deal, and would recommend to anyone who can get over the fact that it’s in Polish and was made on a very low budget.

Control / Stroszek / American Psycho / The Double Life of Véronique

Four more movies, over two days. One of which is today.

29th December (a.m.) – Control. This is the story of the life and death of Ian Curtis (the singer from the band Joy Division) who was a big influence on me when I was a teenager, and who I know a fair amount about. I’ve heard everything Ian recorded, would count Unknown Pleasures and Closer as two of my all time favourite records (and Atmosphere as one of the saddest and scariest piece of music I’ve ever heard), and there are also aspects of his biography I can closely relate to. I’ve watched Control before, but it never ceases to thrill me from beginning to end, and it seems to be a very accurate account of the life of an interesting man who died so young but continues to influence people to this day. I only wish someone would do something similar with the life of Nick Drake, who I find similarly fascinating. As an aside (and tapping into one of my interests) Sam Riley (who played Ian Curtis in Control) ended up marrying Alexandra Maria Lara (who played Annik Honoré, who Ian had a strong emotional connection to towards the end of his life). It’s an emotionally intense film, and exactly the sort of connection that so often bleeds through into real life relationships.

29th December (p.m.)  – Stroszek. Following on from Control, but also tapping into the European cinema theme, Stroszek is probably at least as famous as the movie Ian Curtis watched the night he killed himself than as a piece of art in its own right. In some ways that is a shame, because it’s an accomplished piece of cinema that more people should watch, and it’s actually really funny in parts. It’s also quite weird, but I think anyone who is aware of Werner Hetzog’s work will have a fair idea what to expect.

29th December (later p.m.) – American Psycho. I’ve probably had more debates about the book that this is based on than any other book, and I was very much looking forward to this movie when it came out (a very long time ago now). It hasn’t aged well in some ways, but there is still enough here to make me happy to watch it every few years, although I wouldn’t want to see it any more frequently than that. Incidentally, there is a sequel, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to see William Shatner in one of his most wooden performances ever.

7th January – The Double Life of Véronique. I don’t really know where to start with this one. It’s another Krzysztof Kieślowski film (which I tracked down after watching and loving the Three Colours Trilogy), and one that largely details the lives of two identical women in different countries, who don’t know each other, but who end up having oddly similar and coincidental lives. It is as if the same person is living in parallel, and can somehow tune into the emotions and emotional reactions of the other person, whilst at the same time being on some level unaware that they are not alone. I think I sometimes seek out connections with people who think and feel in the same way I do about things that matter to me, and this film taps into that idea nicely, as well as appealing to my love of chance encounters and seeming happenstance. Also, it is a very well written and directed film that works on both a narrative and emotional level. Like most of Kieślowski’s work, it’s in French and Polish, but also conveys a great deal through music and colour, and several times I found myself drifting away from the subtitles and just losing myself in the sights and sounds. Probably not one for everyone, but if you have got a spare hour and a half and are willing to try and think and feel at the same time, then this may be just what you need. I’d definitely recommend this, but for anyone new to Krzysztof Kieślowski I would recommend watching the whole Three Colours Trilogy first, as the narrative is slightly clearer, and they are probably a better entrance point.