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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • French DTS-HD 2.0 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Cinema lesson with Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • New video essay by film writer Dennis Lim
  • New interview with actor IrŤne Jacob, plus interviews with producer Marin Karmitz and editor Jacques Witta
  • "Red at Cannes, 1994", a short documentary on the film's world premiere

Three Colors: Red

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Starring: , Jean-Louis Trintignant, , Jean-Pierre Lorit
1994 | 99 Minutes | Licensor: MK2

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $79.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #590
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: November 15, 2011
Review Date: November 15, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

Krzysztof Kieslowski closes his Three Colors trilogy in grand fashion with an incandescent meditation on fate and chance, starring IrŤne Jacob as a sweet-souled yet somber runway model in Geneva whose life intersects with that of a bitter retired judge, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant. Their blossoming friendship forces each to open up in surprising emotional ways. Meanwhile, just down the street, a seemingly unrelated story of jealousy and betrayal unfolds. Red is an intimate look at forged connections and a splendid final statement from a remarkable filmmaker at the height of his powers.

Forum members rate this film 9/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Red, the third and final part to Krzysztof Kieslowskiís Three Colors trilogy, is presented on Blu-ray in Criterionís Three Colors box set in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with a new 1080p/24hz digital transfer on this dual-layer disc.

The video presentation is good and similar to the other films in the set, though maybe presents somewhat bolder colours, more than likely because red is used to a heavier degree in this film. The image is crisp with excellent definition and finer details again pop off the screen. Film grain is present and gets more noticeable in darker sequences but it looks clean and natural, never like noise, and the transfer doesnít present any other artifacts. Blacks can look a little washed out here and there throughout but thatís probably the worst of it. In all a clean transfer (with no noticeable blemishes in the print) and itís probably the best one in the set.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

This disc also comes with a DTS-HD MA 2.0 surround track. Of the films in the set itís the least showy and therefore the least impressive in terms of its technical attributes. Fronts handle most of the work with dialogue, music and effects, and as expected everything is crisp and clear with no damage or distortion. Surrounds handle some minor sound effects out in the city streets and handles the filmís music which generally stays pretty low, but is clean and distinct.

The other films in the set present more active and creative tracks, so in comparison this one doesnít reach their level but for the nature of the film itís perfectly fine and most importantly itís very clean and easy to hear.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion spreads a number of supplements over the three discs in the set, with the supplements on each disc looking primarily (though not entirely) at their respective films. Redís supplements, which I find to be the best overall in the set, start with a video essay by Dennis Lim appropriately titled On Red. Even though itís possibly the driest of the video essays found in this set he still delivers a fairly thorough examination of the film, going over its theme of fraternity and the many connections presented throughout the film, which includes the heavy use of phones. He also of course looks at the use of red in the film, and is the only one in the essays (that I can recall) who actually points out the old woman and the recycling bin that is used in all of the films, mentioning how her uses fit the theme of each film. It may be my least favourite of the essays Criterion has included but itís still a worthwhile addition.

Yet again we get another Kieslowski Cinema Lesson, this one running 8-minutes. Like the other segments found on the other discs Kieslowski breaks down a scene, this time the sequence where the dog Rita runs off. While showing the scene at an editing suite he talks about how this scene was put together, trimming off smaller acts which didnít really move anything forward. He also talks about how he likes to work backwards, so to speak, by showing things and then reference them later to have the audience recall them. Like the other segments it offers an intriguing look into the filmmakerís process and it ends up being one of the stronger features on the set.

Criterion has next recorded a 16-minute interview with actress Irene Jacob who talks to great length about the various layers found in the film and in her character, the relationship her character had with the Judge, and then talks quite a bit about the director of photography, Piotr Sobocinski, and his important contribution to the film. Much more thoughtful and analytical than what Iím usually used to from interviews with the actors and makes another great inclusion.

An older 2001 interview with producer Marin Karmitz is included next. Running 11-minutes he talks about one of the more intriguing aspects of the production involving how they got the apartment used for Valentineís home (involving giving the tenant what amounted to a 2-month paid vacation) and then talks about how Kieslowski could convey so much information within a single image. The most intriguing part of the interview, though, would probably revolve around the Academy Awards and how the film was rejected initially only to be allowed in after many around Hollywood started petitions to get it in. Though it feels like itís made up of clips of a longer interview itís an entertaining interview.

Even better is an interview of sorts with editor Jacques Witta, also taken in 2001, who talks a little about editing the film, even showing us some deleted sequences in the process, claiming they were cutting out ďpointlessĒ material. This is more or less true but thereís a couple of sequences that prove of interest, such as an extended bit at the end involving Valentineís brother. He also talks about and shows how heís able to ďcheatĒ in editing to hide things the director doesnít like and to also better shape the narrative. The piece runs over 13-minutes.

Behind the Scenes of Red offers behind-the-scene footage of certain sequences and then shows the finished sequence afterwards, including the conversation between Valentine and the Judge close to the end, an early scene introducing us to Valentineís apartment, the photo shoot, the scene where Auguste sees his ex at the restaurant, along with a few others. It proves fairly fascinating but the best sequences involve the more complicated shots, like the apartment scene which made fairly advanced use of a crane camera.

Kieslowski Cannes 1994 is 15-minutes worth of footage from Cannes, including interviews with Kieslowski, Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintgnant. The two actors talks about working with Kieslowski while Kieslowski covers various topics, but we also get footage where Kieslowski announces his retirement from filmmaking. Itís a fine inclusion, though doesnít get any better than better-than-average promotional material.

But the real gem to the supplements here, and possibly the strongest item in the box set, is the 55-minute documentary Krzysztof Kieslowski: Iím So-SoÖ, which is essentially an interview with the director recorded in 1996. The interview was done by friend Krzysztof Wierzbicki and he and the director cover a wide range of subjects on his life and work and heís surprisingly open. They go through a selection of his films, including his experimental Talking Heads (which is one of the documentaries found on the White disc), Camera Buff, The Decalogue, Red, and The Double Life of Veronique to an extent. Kieslowski isnít the most animated subject, so the documentary isnít all that lively, but out of all of the material found in this set this is the most forward the director gets, feeling comfortable with his interviewer, and itís wonderful Criterion has included it here.

The disc then closes with the theatrical trailer. The set also comes with a booklet with essays about the trilogy and then each film in the set.

In all a solid collection, despite the lack of a commentary (even though there is one out there.) The supplements cover the film beautifully, and we also get a more in-depth look at the director.

9/10

CLOSING

Though the Three Colors box set is a great release as a whole, I think the Blu-ray of Red is the best one in the set. The image is slightly better than the others (though this is more than likely because the film has a bolder use of colour here) and the supplements are the best, most comprehensive ones to be found. A nice conclusion to a fantastic set.


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