Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dekalog part 4

I don't know why not, but I didn't really think anything of it when Wife suggested, a little while ago, we "queue" all ten parts of Dekalog from LoveFilm. The reason alarm bells should have rung is because I remember her telling me years ago how much she hated one of Kieslowski's Trois couleurs films (Blue?). I said okay and we added them to our list. I've never seen any of the Polish director's work and felt there was perhaps a gap in my film education. That, plus I'll watch virtually any movie you put in front of me, so keen am I to drench myself in film.

The first of the discs arrived a few days ago (episodes 4 & 5), and episodes 6, 7, & 8 dropped through the letterbox yesterday. "Right then," we thought. "Best get on with it."

Each of the short films in the Dekalog is around 55 minutes long and is inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. We started with episode 4, the earliest we had at our disposal: "Honour thy father and thy mother".

I kind of liked it, I think. It's likely to be one of those films that stays with you, lurking somewhere in the back of your head (and not just because of the terrible late '80s hairstyles and clothing). The theme is an interesting one (and I'm oversimplifying here just to get to the crux of the matter): it's essentially about a father and daughter who discover that he is not, in fact, her father. The discussions about sexuality and jealousy and the notion that they might actually want to get dirrty with each other are powerful and just a little disturbing.

(As an aside, it reminded me of a friend of my family from waaaay back, who ended up having an affair and running off with his stepdaughter. Everyone who knew them thought it was disgusting. And sure, there's a breach of trust... but they're not blood-related. Tricky, no?)

Still, this is exactly the sort of thing that I assume this series of films seeks to address with each episode. I enjoy movies that challenge social conventions, and I kind of look forward to seeing some of the others.

Wife less so. Fifty-five minutes wasn't quite short enough to keep her awake. And now she's suggested we take the remaining films off our queue. Which is what she probably would have done had I reminded her they were by the same director as Trois couleurs in the first place.