20 February 2008

Rouge by Kieslowski, 1994

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 8:47 am

“Be sad. Sadder. Think of something awful. There.”

“I knew it was a joke. I could see you laughing.”

“Talk to me like yesterday.”

“You’re naked in front of the mirror. But for someone else, not for me.”

rouge billboard2

“Go see this man. Tell him someone listens to his conversations. While you’re at it, tell him it’s me.”

“What can we do about it? Why are you so quiet? Does this remind you of something?”

“I know the weather all over Europe.”

“We have nothing on him. He never takes risks.”

“Here’s his phone number. If you feel like saying mean things to him, don’t hesitate.”

“Van den Budenmayer. Did I pronounce it right?”

“Before you left, you mentioned pity. Afterwards, I realized it was disgust.”

“Leave. It’s your destiny.”

“Deciding what is true and what isn’t now seems to me a lack of modesty. Vanity.”

“You won’t go to court. Justice doesn’t deal with the innocent.”

“I feel something important is happening around me. And it scares me.”

“She was blond, delicate, radiant, with a long neck. Her clothing and her furniture were all light-colored. In the foyer there was a mirror in a white frame. It was in that mirror, one night, that I saw her white legs spread, with a man between them.”

“Maybe you’re the woman I never met.”

“At first, I wanted to kill him. I would have, if it would have changed something. Now, he was waiting for my verdict.”

“Steve Killian, English citizen, barman on the ferry.”

– screenplay by Krysztof Kieslowski and Krysztof Piesiewicz



  1. It’s been too long. I always thought Seigner would have KILLED as a Kieslowski ‘heroine’.


    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  2. All three of Kieslowski’s Colours are motivated by hot women, aren’t they? The woman of Rouge is Valentine, and she’s the ideal woman: beautiful but not self-possessed, she takes care of injured dogs and the injured male ego of the retired judge. The judge spends his days spying on his neighbors, and he stops only because she wants him to act, only to see what her reaction will be when he does act decisively. She can’t imagine that she could have this kind of effect, and she doesn’t take advantage of her power. She is the giant beauty in the billboard who stops traffic and arrests everyone’s gaze, but we never see her looking at this image of herself. She has an invitation sent to the judge to watch her fashion show, and afterward she approaches him as he waits for her in the empty theater. He asks her, “Did you look for me?” “During the entire show,” she replies. She’s not thinking about herself; she’s thinking about him. Is she imagining him looking at her, or does she just want him to be there as an act of friendship and a way of connecting to the world again? Both, almost certainly.


    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 9:34 am

  3. Some observations on the screenplay snippets…

    Van den Budenmayer is the composer of music that the judge and Valentine both listen to during the movie. But there’s no such guy — the music was composed by Zbigniew Preisner, and they invented this alter-ego for him to fit in with the music that’s part of the story. What’s that called again, when the music is actually being played in the mise-en-scene rather than drifting in from outer space? These cinematic technical terms elude me.

    Steve Killian, English barman — he’s the only survivor who didn’t appear in one of the three movies… or did he?


    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 9:58 am

  4. I almost forgot this one, but I remember thinking it the best part of the trilogy. I know that the ending gave a foretaste of the non-linear narratives that proliferated in the new century, and I remember there being a typical Lacanian point about communication as miscommunication. And this linked up to the opening titles somehow.


    Comment by parodycenter — 22 February 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  5. hey k, you need to update you blogroll.


    Comment by dionysusstoned — 23 February 2008 @ 11:49 am

  6. Yes, you’ve changed platforms, so I have to do two clicks to get to you. I too am a procrastinator.


    Comment by ktismatics — 23 February 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  7. just so long as you not lazy…at least that’s what i tell myself.


    Comment by dionysusstoned — 23 February 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  8. I already made the change for your link — you must have been too lazy to check it out.


    Comment by ktismatics — 23 February 2008 @ 5:14 pm

  9. eish!


    Comment by dionysusstoned — 23 February 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  10. All is well — thanks for the reminder to do the update, DS.


    Comment by ktismatics — 23 February 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  11. Enthusiasts of the films of Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski (Blind Chance, Dekalog, The Double Life of Véronique, Three Colours Trilogy, etc) are invited to drop by my chatroom at the Brasserie Alizé on the anniversary of the director’s death, this coming Friday evening, 13 March 2009, from around 1800 UTC and throughout the weekend for those who don’t sleep much. Please pass on the invitation to others and hopefully see you there!


    Comment by Alexandre Fabbri — 11 March 2009 @ 1:13 am

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