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Criterion Collection: Three Colors: Blue White Red (Bilingual) [Import]

 R (Restricted)   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Blue is the first, and most somber, installment of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy on liberty, equality, and fraternity, the three principles represented by the colors of the French flag. As the film begins, a car accident claims the life of a well-known composer. His wife, played by Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche, does not so much put the pieces of her life back together as start an entirely new existence. She moves to Paris, where she dissolves into a wordless life virtually without other people. Kieslowski attaches an almost subconscious significance to the color blue, but primarily he focuses on Binoche's luminous face, and the way her subtle shifts in emotion flicker and disappear. The picture may be more enigmatic than its successors, but Binoche's quiet, heartbreaking presence becomes spellbinding; she won the best actress prize for the film at the Venice Film Festival in 1993. --Robert Horton

White is an ironic comedy brimming over with the hard laughs of despair, ecstasy, ambition, and longing, all played in a minor key. Down-and-out Polish immigrant Karol Karol is desperate to get out of France. He's obsessed with his French soon-to-be ex-wife (Before Sunrise's Julie Delpy), his French bank account is frozen, and he's fed up with the inequality of it all. Penniless, he convinces a fellow Pole to smuggle him home in a suitcase--which then gets stolen from the airport. The unhappy thieves beat him and dump him in a snowy rock pit. Things can only get better, right? The story evolves into a wickedly funny antiromance, an inverse Romeo and Juliet. Because it's in two foreign languages, the dialogue can be occasionally hard to follow, but some of the most genuinely funny and touching moments need no verbal explanation. --Grant Balfour

The final section of the trilogy is the least likely of the three to stand alone, and indeed benefits from a little familiarity with the first two parts. Nevertheless, it's a strong, unique piece that reflects upon the ubiquity of images in the modern world and the commensurate subjugation of meaningful communication. Irene Jacob plays a fashion model whose lovely face is hugely enlarged on a red banner no one in Paris can possibly miss seeing. Striking up a relationship with an embittered former judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant), who secretly scans his neighbors' conversations through electronic surveillance, Jacob's character becomes an aural witness to the secret lives of those we think we know. Kieslowski cleverly wraps up the trilogy with a device that brings together the principals of all three films. --Tom Keogh

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It is absolutely shocking that it has taken so long for this trilogy of masterpieces to reach DVD. These are, without a doubt, my favorite films of the 1990s. The late Kieslowski was working at the top of his game and his presence in filmmaking is sorely missed. Blue and Red are my favorites out of the three, with Juliette Binoche illuminating every scene. Red (which is set in Geneva and not Paris as the amazon review incorrectly states)is a brilliant way to wrap the trilogy. Irene Jacob sparring with the great Jean Louis Tritignant in their lovely and heartbreaking scenes. There are so many wonderful moments, including the final moment when Jacob's face on the giant billboard becomes a haunting coda that will reduce you to tears...simply because it is shear genius on Kieslowski's part. Like his contemporary Wim Wenders, Kieslowski marched to the beat of his own drum and gave the world beautiful, if not always easy, films to cherish.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Colors Dec 17 2011
To begin, the Three Colors trilogy is a work of cinematic genius. It is a collection of three narratively unrelated, but thematically intertwined films that showcase the best of french cinema. This is not a review of the films though. This is a review of the Criterion collections re-release of the trilogy. The set (like all other criterion releases) is a perfect collection of this great trilogy. The box is a clean digipack with beautiful artwork showcasing the colour contrasts for each film. The set includes three blu ray disks and an accompanying booklet about Krzysztof Kie'lowski, the work that went into each film, and a very insightful description of the painstaking process Criterion underwent for the blu ray transfers. The disks themselves contain tons of behind the scenes extras and great present day interviews with the cast. Everything from the beautiful menu systems down the the blu ray transfers themselves, are top quality.

I have never been dissatisfied with a Criterion release. They put the very best into every set. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for a lot of the distribution companies these days, which makes Criterion Collection releases stand well above the rest.

I would recommend these films to anyone interested in film as art, and this box set does great justice to maintaining both the integrity and beauty of this trilogy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most haunting film I can think of... June 15 2003
I am referring to Blue exclusively here.
It was the first of the trilogy to be released, and I think the strongest of the trilogy, as well as the most rewarding to see by itself.
Juliette Binoche is nothing short of a revelation here. Her performance is so emotionally naked and raw, it is almost hard to watch. Her study of a woman consumed with the loss of her husband and only child is devastating. Binoche is one of those actors that can convey more emotion in a look or an expression than most can with an epic monologue. In fact, what I took away from the film initially is how much was unleashed without really saying much of anything. She is perfect for this role, and it is arguably the best performance of her career thus far, and one in which she won a Cesar award for Best Actress.
The style of the film is totally unique. There are breathtaking moments of genius spread throughout the film. The camera is such a languid yet probing force in Blue, showing you things that are out of view and lending fascinating perspective to the characters. There is a shot I recall in a hospital, when the camera has a tight shot on an eye, only to reveal a doctor looking down to the patient. It is remarkable that these elements do not feel gimmicky at all. They simply become part of the language of the story. The cinematography is just gorgeous. The colors and the use of focus add tension and depth to the visual space, leaving some images behind that are both abstract and precise.
I remember feeling really out of touch when I left the theatre after seeing Blue. It is so cliche, but I really felt like I had been dreaming. The images that I recalled reminded me of the kinds you recall when you wake up from a dream.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Visually engaging June 3 2003
The RED, WHITE and BLUE trilogy refers to the colors of the French flag. This must be a declaration of patriotism or admiration from the films' director, Krzysztof Kieslowski, since the various storylines mostly take place outside France. Go figure.
In BLUE, Julie (Juliette Binoche) mentally recuperates from the loss of her family in an auto accident, of which she was the only survivor. In WHITE, Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) emotionally recovers from a humiliating divorce and shabby treatment by his ex. In RED, Valentine (Irene Jacob) copes after injuring a dog with her car.
Though each film is a complete story in itself, BLUE and WHITE must be viewed before RED. At RED's conclusion, a most improbable happenstance brings together the major characters of all three films. The trilogy's lesson appears to be that life is a series of coincidences, and the potential for personal growth from any connection between one or more individuals is a mine of great richness if one cares to work it. Humans are reputed to be a social species. However, the set is perhaps best appreciated by a "people person", who relishes the interaction of daily encounters whether random or not. I'm not that sort (much to my wife's perpetual disgust), so my regard for the series is somewhat muted.
RED, WHITE and BLUE also make the point that there's commonality in the experiences of varied individuals. In each film, the major character observes an old person struggling to insert an empty bottle into the elevated aperture of a large, curbside container for recyclables. Only in RED does the protagonist (Valentine) give assistance.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Liberty, equality and fraternity
Around here, red, white and blue are known as the colours of the American flag, and they are also the colours of the French flag. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2012 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows the power and possibility of the film medium
I saw all three of these movies in the theater in the early 1990s, but it wasn't until I saw them again on the new DVD set that I really appreciated all that they were. Read more
Published on May 29 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Gift
This review refers to the Three Colors Trilogy(Boxed Set) DVD edition by Miramax.....
To give this trilogy 5 stars hardly begins to express the way I feel about this trilogy. Read more
Published on April 23 2003 by L. Shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent trilogy, each stands out on its own
Great storytelling and a pleasure to watch. Each movie stands out on its own and is easily one of the best trilogies in all of film.
Published on April 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual masterpiece
They don't make movies like this all the time, and that's a pity. The late Krzysztof Kieslowski hasn't gotten the acclaim of more prominent but less talented directors like Tom... Read more
Published on April 13 2003 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars deal of the century
There is no reason you should be debating to buy this set if you found your way here. I actually had not seen the trilogy until I purchased this. Read more
Published on April 12 2003 by Jheez
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of sight and sound
Kieslowski captured my imagination-he inspired me. From the beautiful film Blue through the redemptive Red, these films are a Picasso. Read more
Published on April 10 2003 by dogny
5.0 out of 5 stars Vive La France
Francophile and hopeless romantic that I am, this DVD is timeless and deep. It's definitely one to own if you're a Juliette Binoche fan. Beautifully filmed.
Published on March 29 2003 by "susiewu"
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Set!
This trilogy is a must see for movie buffs. Surely thought provoking as well as a visual treat. Watch out for Juliet Binoche's sterling performance in this trilogy. Read more
Published on March 28 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The great european trilogy three great stories.
Thes movies are based on the three colors of the french flag and center around france, but journey all over Europe. Read more
Published on March 27 2003 by Ernest Boehm
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