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Author Topic: The Decalogue (1988)  (Read 737 times)
PowerRR
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« on: July 17, 2013, 09:38:36 AM »

Thoughts on the Kieslowski's Dekalog? I've watched through this once and consider the entire piece to be one of the best works of film/television ever (although it's technically a television miniseries - I've never understood why so many critics/fans refer to it as a movie).

It's tough to pick favorite segments but from what I remember I thought that I, IV, V, and VI were the high points. The only one short of excellent is it's part 10 finale dealing with two brothers and a stamp collection.

I've been waiting for a Blu-Ray before purchasing this, as the current release is pretty awful (Kino, I think?). They look like VHS rips to videodisc.


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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 10:36:02 AM »

I watched it like five years ago, and also some episodes already on an earlier run. I remember liking it immensely but the plot lines of the episodes have faded in my mind. Episodes I, III, V, VI have stuck with me most strongly. The feature versions of episodes V and VI are also great (though, I can't remember the differences).

(although it's technically a television miniseries - I've never understood why so many critics/fans refer to it as a movie).
In late 80s a TV series of this quality was almost unheard of. Only like Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) and Scenes from a Marriage (1973) were in the same league, and they also got the special treatment of being called "films", so that they could make it to the "Best films of the year / of all times" -lists. This still happened with Twin Peaks. But when the quality of TV writing in general got significantly better by the turn of the millennium (Oz, Sopranos etc.), critics were forced to drop the habbit of ranking the best TV series in the same lists with films - otherwise those lists would have been invaded by TV to a ridiculous degree. But because a couple of old TV series had had the privilege of being called "films", some people still go on calling them films. Anyway, that's my theory.

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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 12:13:41 PM »

One difference is that series like Berlin Alexanderplatz or Heimat or The Decalogue were done by film directors, which directed these not like TV stuff was done back then. Another difference is that these TV films were also shown theatrically.

Das Boot is btw also some kind of TV series and the 293 min TV version is superior to the DC and the inferior theatrical version.

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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 06:25:14 PM »

Thoughts on the Kieslowski's Dekalog? I've watched through this once and consider the entire piece to be one of the best works of film/television ever (although it's technically a television miniseries - I've never understood why so many critics/fans refer to it as a movie).

It's a way of cheating. If the individual episodes are worthy of the name, then The Dekalog is a collection of 10 films. There is, of course, the problem of comparing 50 minute films to 2 hour features: is a cupcake as substantial as a thick slice of Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte? If the answer can be yes, then fine. But I want the individual episodes going up against films and against each other. Because I don't think the series is an unalloyed success. Some of the episodes I like a lot (2,3,10). Some I think are just so-so (the two that were released as separate films). Some I think are really bad (the one with the impotent husband). Some I'm still not quite sure about: the incest one; the one with the lady professor.
I need to see them all again. Even afterwards, though, I'm sure there will be those I consider sublime, and those I must visit with howls of execration.

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