ART IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

We all love art, whether it’s fine art, ballet, opera, theatre, cinema, puppetry or circus. And of course any trip to watch / look at a piece of art will have an effect on you. Yours truly went to see the film “Three Colours – Blue” last week. I then looked up a recent review of it presuming it would summarise it the way I saw it. Wrong!

The film is directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, one of Europe’s most highly-praised working directors who won a share of Venice’s Golden Lion (with Altman’s forthcoming Short Cuts) for the film, the first of a trilogy exploring the meaning of the French Revolution’s liberty, equality and fraternity. And, without doubt, he has made another brilliantly fashioned tale to put beside the Decalogue and The Double Life Of Veronique.

But the review I read went on to say that “there is something missing from his first entirely French production which was also missing from the last (French) half of Veronique”. It goes on to say “It may simply be that he is no longer working in the communist and post-communist world that his often pessimistic ironies illustrate with such emotional and psychological certainty. It may also be that we are not surprised by his methodology anymore”.

Well, I am certainly not a purest when it comes to film and I certainly wouldn’t recognise the director’s methodology if it sprang up and hit me in the face. But having been Front of House Manager at Dartington’s Barn Cinema for 10 years I have seen my fair share of films and I know that one person’s best film ever could be another’s worst film ever. I am a huge fan of Preisner’s music and to have this included in the film for me was wonderful; it is this that made the film so gripping for me. However, the review I was reading said: “A lot depends on the music which is written by Zbigniew Preisner, whose score for Veronique was exemplary. It has somehow to suggest that her dead husband is one of the best composers in Europe and as a result it has its difficulties. The Concerto is pretty banal stuff upon which to end the proceedings”.

Well, I’m sorry to disagree but…. Therein lies the problem, art is in the eye of the beholder. And isn’t it great that it is, we all have different interpretations, different empathies and different memories, whatever the art form. Dali once said, as a student, that there is no-one good enough to mark his work. He has a point. Who’s to say art is good, bad or indifferent?

And finally, back to the above review, which ends: “For all that, […]Blue remains an intense and moving tribute to the woman at its centre who, in coming back from tragedy, almost refuses, but ultimately accepts the only real love that’s on offer”. That’s not how I remember a woman who has everything but still gives in. And the music? Sublime. In my humble opinion of course….

 

Image credit – Juliet Binoche – “Three Colours – Blue” 

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