Big Sky Blue (Shades of Blue Trilogy, Book 1)

ISBN 13: 9781939356079
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The camera sometimes works hard to lend tension to Binoche's photogenic absence. In one scene, she is basking in some rare sunlight, while a shrunken old woman, barely able to walk, pushes an empty into the bottle-bank, whose opening is above her head and where in any case it wedges immovably. This tiny incident is presented in short sections, intercut with Binoche's dazzled, unseeing face which fades to white as if the camera, too, was sun-struck.

The meaning of the scene may be: just because you have no personal future doesn't mean you're exempt from obligation, but if so it's likely to remain theoretical. Julie may be in a trance, but it's awfully infectious, and the lesson that she's ignoring, not the images, but the way we're invited to read them, is dull and abstract. Kieslowski has a subtle and almost prohibitively personal film language. He favours dark filters in the upper quadrants of the image to create - less pervasively than in A Short Film About Killing - patches of negative light. He likes effects of blurring and smearing, with areas of paradoxical clarity.

For the new film he has invented a piece of cinema grammar, described as an ellipsis 'the three dots of suspension' in the track listing of the soundtrack album: the image fades to black, gorgeously bombastic neo-baroque music by Zbigniew Preisner's that bursts out for a few moments, then dies away. The image returns, and the scene moves on again. The significance of the music is that Julie's husband was a famous composer, whose last commission was for a festival celebrating the unification of Europe. Julie has destroyed his sketches, as part of her campaign of withdrawal, but the music continues to exist, whether outside or inside her, and erupts from time to time.

The technique, of which those striking ellipses are part, creates a sort of atmospheric echo chamber, but it isn't up to the director to determine exactly what resonates there. It may be reflections on the futility of cutting yourself off from other people, it may be the question a journalist put to Julie early in her widowhood: 'Is it true you wrote your husband's music? Why does Julie persist in describing the rat she found in a cupboard as a mouse?

Is it in fact a symbolic rodent, the rodent of regret, of conscience? Towards the end of the film there is a brief flurry of revelation.

Julie's husband turns out to have had a mistress, who is now pregnant. In a Hollywood film this conflict between the women, one of whom has rights, and the other a child, would be immensely drawn out and built up.

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In Three Colours Blue it passes in minutes, but it is still essentially the same moral melodrama in a tastefully muted form. When the mistress says, 'Will you hate me now?

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You see, as long as I believed in his love I was a prisoner of the past, and now I'm free, whether I like it or not'. Certainly she behaves with the same unreal generosity as any soap opera heroine, giving away the family home to the outsider who is incarnating the future. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Premium free for 1 month. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium.

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She wants to see if it will help. It does not.

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She moves to an obscure street in an anonymous corner of Paris, determined to see no one she knows and make no new friends. But as chance would have it, she does meet someone: She meets her husband's mistress. She nurses the dog back to health and returns it to its owner, a retired judge Jean-Louis Trintignant , who tells her she can keep it. He is beyond worrying about dogs. He occupies his days intercepting the telephone calls of his neighbors, and he watches them through his windows almost like God--actually, just like God--curious, since they have free will, what they will do next.

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After a lifetime of passing verdicts, he wants to be a detached observer. As a young man this judge was was once in love, lost that love, and has lived on hold ever since. He all but caresses his emotional wounds. Although at first he rudely turns Valentine away, slowly he begins to tell her his story.

Three Colors - Blue: Crash Course Film Criticism #11

There is a moment in "Red" where Valentine leans forward to listen with such attention and sympathy that she seems at prayer. Only gradually do we learn that the story of the judge and his lost love reveals parallels with the story of Valentine and her lover who is always absent, and with the life of a young law student who lives across from her apartment in the city--a student she has never met.

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From the Author Shades of Blue Series Reading Order Book 1: Big Sky Blue ( Novella) Book 2: A Different Shade of Blue Book 3: The Darkest Blue Book 4: Every. Editorial Reviews. Review. From the Author Shades of Blue Series Reading Order Book 1: Big Sky Blue (Novella) Book 2: A Different Shade of Blue Book 3: The.

On another timeline, in a parallel universe, the judge and Valentine might have themselves fallen in love. They missed being the same age by only 40 years or so. Now that Hubble has seen back to the dawn of time, that doesn't seem a great many years.