Seeing Red

Red (1994)

    I saw this movie in my first film studies class at UGA.  I love that class, even though the teacher was kind of dismissive of me and said some rude shit to me way out of left field when I visited his office a few years later.  Sometimes needle-necked nerds take issue with my brand of intellectual, tall, dark and handsome suavity.  Cannot be helped.  ANYWAY, this movie was one of the highlights of that first class for me.  I remember being seriously into movies when I was just about to turn 18.  But I don’t think I was ready for all that I was reading and watching until I was 20.  This movie was one of the first “serious” movies I remember being exposed to that was a little deeper in the files than your average Fellini-Godard-Kurosawa-Ford essential type stuff.  It’s also of my time (made while I was alive), which is a bit different for me since most of the time I go over the moon for older movies.  It’s the 1994 Euro-dreamy (a term I invented just now!), art-house movie Red.  

    Red is the final chapter of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three colors trilogy, the first two being Blue and White.  The movies represent the French flag and those virtues liberte, fraternite, egalite.  Loosely, I mean.  Don’t hold Kieslowski to a strict interpretation.  But somehow, this trilogy does cohere in its way, despite each movie telling very different tales of different characters.  I remember Red being my favorite, although I liked them all very much.  

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Adorable Irene Jacob plays a model (not really a stretch)

    Red tells a mysterious story of Valentine, a pretty girl (Irene Jacob, the girl on the banner at the top of my blog!)  living in Geneva.  She hits a dog with her car (don’t worry, only minor bumps and bruises) and meets her (the dog’s) owner, a retired judge who spies on his neighbors.  He is played by French legend Jean-Louis Trintigant.  The movie is about people and relationships and the huge role that chance plays in everything.  A man drops his law book in the street and it falls open.  He picks it up reads the passage over and studies it and is later asked a question about that passage during his exam.  Two young people’s lives are so close but never intersecting, like parallel lines, until a tragic accident brings them together.  Red is a great movie.  The music by Zbigniew Preisner is incredible.  The performances of the actors are very good, especially Trintignant.  It’s an emotional and beautiful movie.

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Irene Jacob and Jean-Louis Trintignant see what the neighbors are up to

    I remember enjoying Red very much as I watched it for the first time, and having a feeling that I was watching something different, not like any movie I’d ever seen.  I was exhilarated by the movie, maybe it was Irene Jacob; I’m sure she moved me very much, but it was also a feeling that the horizon of how movies are was broadened for me.  It’s very hard to describe this excitement, but I knew then that I’d be able to find so many different types of movies to love, some strange, some conventional.  There was an ocean of them, thousands and thousands, more than I could watch in my whole life, and I’d be in love for that long, and the cinema would constantly bring me new discoveries and joys.  I knew this could last forever.  I think this revelation came when I saw Red.

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