The Complete Kieślowski 3 – The Calm
Matt and Travis welcome the all-powerful voice and cinematic insight of Mr. Mark Hurne, co-host of Close-Up and regular on Criterion Now, to discuss Kieslowski’s second full-length made-for-TV feature and third overall feature, The Calm.
The Calm was made almost immediately on the heels of Kieślowski’s debut theatrical feature in 1976 for Polish Television. However, the film was immediately shelved because of the depiction of a strike, which at that point in Poland was both illegal and portrayed by the Party as non-existant. It wasn’t shown on television until 1980, a couple of weeks after Solidarity broke through.
We ultimately decided to include the film in this slot because it is truer to the intention of The Complete, where we look at a director’s full work in chronological order to chart their development as an artist, rather than to simply walk through the films at their official release by an arbitrary date.
We begin the episode spoiler free and discuss Kieślowski’s short documentary Hospital, which was made in between the two features, before going into the film’s political nature, the remarkable performances at the center of the film, and the movie’s function as a bridge between Kieślowski’s early realist work and his later metaphysical explorations.