15 March 2008

Dekalog 4&5 by Kieslowski

Filed under: Christianity, Movies — ktismatics @ 7:52 pm

In this scene from the fourth enstallment, the man in the foreground is father (or is he?) of the girl in the background. The vodka glasses and the ashtray are objects associated with adult behavior, perhaps also of seduction. They’re also empty vessels, feminine. The father’s hands frame his groin; his hands and his groin loom large, dominating the scene, deciding what will happen next. The girl’s mother died shortly after giving birth to her; a friend of her father says that she is just like her mother. With his index finger the father has been nudging the one glass closer to the other: with the next shove they will touch, becoming interchangeable. But the two glasses, both empty, can never again be filled, dominated by the presence of the absence that is the dead mother.

dek4 glasses

Part five: Like altar boys the policemen stand by the young man as the priest administers the sacrament; behind and to the right, partly occluded but with his head, pallid and ghastly, fully exposed, the executioner awaits.

dek5 priest



  1. We’ve seen this nudging action in several films…the boy in 4 nudged a stone off of a bridge into traffic below…the woman in Dwa nudged her tea glass off of the table onto the floor…I’ll have to watch again to see if there were others.

    What could this nudging signify?

    Meilleurs voeux!!


    Comment by blueVicar — 18 March 2008 @ 11:34 am

  2. Good observation. The nudge seems to occupy a middle realm between consciously purposive action and accident. The nudger is responsible for the action but seems noncommittal about the consequence of the action. It’s a way of making something happen while disavowing intentionality — as if chance or fate dictate the outcome, as if the nudging is part of this same indifferent action. It’s the unconscious expression of desire, I believe.


    Comment by ktismatics — 18 March 2008 @ 12:12 pm

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