New Release: Three Colors Trilogy Blu-ray and DVD

Release Date: Nov. 15, 2011
DVD $59.95, Blu-ray $79.95
Studio: Criterion

Three Colors Trilogy scene

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blue, White and Red receive the Criterion treatment this November.

Legendary Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy, a boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, was a defining event of the art house boom of the 1990s. The films — Blue (1993), White (1993) and Red (1994) — were named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution: liberty, equality and fraternity. But that only hints at the film’s beauty, richness and humanity.

Set in Paris, Warsaw and Geneva, Blue, White, and Red (Kieślowski’s final film) range from tragedy to drama to comedy. They follow a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions.

Marked by intoxicatingly lush cinematography and memorable performances by such actors as Juliette Binoche (Chocolat), Julie Delpy (Guilty Hearts), Irène Jacob (Beyond the Clouds) and Jean-Louis Trintignant (A Man and a Woman), Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a landmark work for the filmmaker and, indeed, for cinema.

Here’s what the movies are all about:

Blue: In the first film of the trilogy, Binoche gives a tour de force performance as Julie, a woman reeling from the tragic deaths of her husband and young daughter.

White: The most playful movie of the set is a dark comedy about the economic inequalities of Eastern and Western Europe, as well as a reverie about twisted love. It follows the adventures of Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France.

Red: The trilogy’s final film, a meditation on fate and chance, stars Irène Jacob as a sweet-souled yet somber runway model in Geneva whose life intersects with that of a bitter retired judge (Jean‑Louis Trintignant).

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the Three Colors trilogy contain new high-definition digital restorations, with new and improved English subtitle translations and DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray versions.

The extensive list of bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD include the following:

  • three cinema lessons with director Krzysztof Kieślowski
  • new interviews with composer Zbigniew Preisner; writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz; and actors Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski and Irène Jacob
  • selected-scene commentary for Blue with actress Juliette Binoche
  • three new video essays, by film writers Annette Insdorf, Tony Rayns and Dennis Lim
  • Kieślowski’s student short The Tram (1966) and his fellow student’s short from the same year The Face, which features Kieślowski in a solo performance
  • two short documentaries by Kieślowski: Seven Women of Different Ages (1978) and Talking Heads (1980)
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So . . . (1995), a feature-length documentary in which the filmmaker discusses his life and work
  • two multi-interview programs, Reflections on “Blue” and Kieślowski: The Early Years, with film critic Geoff Andrew, Binoche, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Sławomir Idziak, Insdorf, Jacob and editor Jacques Witta
  • tnterviews with producer Marin Karmitz and Witta
  • behind-the-scenes programs for White and Red, and Kieślowski Cannes 1994, a short documentary on Red’s world premiere
  • original theatrical trailers
  • booklet featuring essays by critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans and Georgina Evans, an excerpt from Kieślowski on Kieślowski, and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Sławomir Idziak, Edward Klosinski, and Piotr Sobocinski


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.