Three Colors: Blue ★★★½

My only other reference point for Kieslowski's work is VÉRONIQUE, which both did & didn't prepare me for this one, which feels both a bit looser, bound less by a clairvoyant game and more by shadowy intuition, as well as a little hampered by its color gimmick and a bit more laden with portents and markers of historical significance the film's emotional landscape didn't really seem to have that much use for. Here, music isn't something that draws you into its world (or another entirely) but a craft with hierarchies and masters, marshaled into service to commemorate or herald or otherwise furnish some ceremony of the state. We're used to seeing music this way, and frankly it's so boring that I was almost ready for Julie's character to be revealed to be the secret composer of her husband's works, as even a narrative twist of that simplicity might have been better than her burgeoning relationship with the man tasked to complete the score that culminates in a moment that recalls nothing more than the deathbed dictation scene in AMADEUS — the hand moves over the page and a trumpet enters from offscreen. Once you choose to include a gesture like that, the spell is broken pretty much completely.