Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Dekalog (The Decalogue) [1989]



-->Polish master’s Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Dekalog, one of the most staggering masterpieces ever brought to screen, would rank, along with the likes of R. W. Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, among the most ambitious cinematic achievements. Comprising of ten one-hour films made for television, each representing a pronouncement from the Ten Commandments, Dekalog paints intimate, richly layered and thoroughly enriching portraits of Polish society through the microcosm of an apartment block which forms the backdrop for the stories. The series encompasses themes ranging from personal crises, ethical dilemmas and the political history of Poland to even the role of filmmakers, and covers such topics as technology, parent-child complex, infidelity, voyeurism, new found wealth, etc. In fact love, or lack thereof, human loneliness, cosmic conundrums and ironies of everyday life are some of the recurring as well as underlying motifs of the deeply philosophical project. Since Kieslowski was an agnostic himself, religious symbolisms never take the front seat; rather, they are subtly alluded to at most, as the various devastatingly human stories unfold before us. Music forms a vital aspect of the series, and has been used with astounding effect to create and accentuate the moods and tones specific to each parts. Hauntingly beautiful, profoundly moving and brilliantly enacted, Dekalog is cinema of the very highest order. Dekalog 5 & 6 were later expanded into A Short Film About Love and the A Short Film About Killing, respectively.



Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Existential Drama/Romance/Black Comedy/TV Series/Omnibus Film
Language: Polish
Country: Poland

14 comments:

Just Another Film Buff said...

Certainly is one of Cinema's greatest. A lot of credit must also go to Pieciewicz too.

And the whole tale could be happening in any apartment complex int he world, not considering the very specific cultural underpinnings. A staggering work that few would hesitate toc all anything less than a masterpiece. A very fine summation here, Shubhajit!


P.S: the verification word for me is "fresh". Reminds me that the film is actually 22 years old!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so ashamed that i have yet to see this......M.Roca

Shubhajit said...

JAFB:

Thanks a lot for pitching in your appreciation for the film and the good words. I completely agree with you as regards the universality of what's shown in the film and the themes covered - it could happen in any city in any part of the world, and not just in Warsaw. Truly an astounding achievement.

Shubhajit said...

M. Roca:

Thanks a lot for visiting my humble place. I've been an admirer of your extensive comments at Dave's blog. Would loved to see you more often here. By the way, do you maintain a blog or a site where one can visit to read your deliberations on cinema?

Stephen said...

Lovely post, Shubhajit.

You say so much of what I feel are the strengths and beauties of these films.

By the way your 100 favourite movies is a mightily impressive list. I'm ashamed to say that I have a copy of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN', I am half-Romanian and yet I still haven't watched it.

Anonymous said...

No. I was thinking of starting one but I enjoy contributing to everyone else's more. While I don't think I'm a terrible writer it's not something that comes natural or I can do quickly and in large volume. I have been stopping by for a while now and finally decided to write. I'll comment more as I like your taste in film......M.Roca

Shubhajit said...

Stephen:

Thanks a lot for posting your comments and for the good words.

Though Romanian films are a tad hard to get hold of, I've become a pretty big admirer of Romanian films courtesy the few that I've managed to watch. And yes, do watch California Dreamin' - its a terrific film.

Shubhajit said...

M.Roca:

Thanks a lot. I'd really like to hear from you more often now.

moviesandsongs365 said...

I've been wanting to watch this, but keep putting it off, as it's 10hours long, or something! But I've heard great things about it here and other places.

I love that the Three colours trilogy is a visual and intellectual experience all in one, you seldom get both like that. It's so tragic Kieslowski died so young, but amazing he could make so many masterpieces in such a small amount of time ( :

Shubhajit said...

I too love Kieslowski's Three Colors. Anyway, I'd strongly urge you to watched Dekalog. I understand it can be a tad intimidating to watch a 10-part series from personal experience. But I was really glad that I managed to get over that and go ahead with it. I assure you watching Dekalog will be an absolutely unforgettable experience for you too. Thanks for stopping by.

Alexandre FABBRI said...

Wander over.

Cialis Online said...

this is not the first great review I rad about his film... My psychology teacher always told me about it and I was planning to make a paper for my class with some of the movie's characters, so this is a very good resource spot. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love this one... nice blog here chief..

Bruz said...

Nice Blog, but Top100...