I have been watching some world cinema of late. Some of my thoughts on them.
A Short film on killing by Krzysztof Kieslowski is a film with a simple storyline directed with powerful impact. It tries to ask the most commonly asked questions about capital punishment without answering them (like most great films). So you wont find cardboard characters but real people and their emotions. The movie revolves around three characters and is set in the harsh Polish winter.
There is a car driver who gets sadistic pleasure in not helping passengers stranded in the cold. Amazingly characterized in a scene where he spends almost an hour polishing his car and there is a couple who decide to wait for him to finish. But he drives off without them.
There is a lost youth who wanders around killing time looking at cafes. Amazing direction in a scene where while the youth is looking into the cafes , there is the cafe and his own reflection metaphorizing his quest to find himself.
The third character and who in fact brings the movie to life is of an idealistic lawyer who has just cleared his bar exam. Again brilliantly captured in the way he answers questions in the bar exam.
What follows is that the youth kills the taxi driver gruesomely and the lawyer defends his case in vain. The youth is sentenced to capital punishment. Does it matter if the taxi driver was a real meanie. Does it matter if the youth had some emotional turmoil having lost his fond sister to a tractor driven by his friend who had drunk with him. This is filmmaking that elicits subjective response — often intended to confront their viewer.
The photography is amazing. You feel the ruthlessness of the Polish winter, the desolate winters, the warm yet dull cafes. This is due to Slawomir Idziak’s experimental cinematography. Much of the film is shot in partial green filters, taped in makeshift to the camera lens. This helps part of the frame to be obscure or parts to remain well lit.
A definite watch.