Under The Sign Of Sadness: Zbigniew Preisner

Tim Greiving at The Current:

Music looms as a spectral presence over Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blue, White, and Red, collectively known as the Three Colors trilogy. Like the triad of colored lights that bounce on the beautiful, sad faces in the films, Zbigniew Preisner’s multi-hued scores reflect on the images and refract from the inside out. Stern, lonely, and at times almost unbearably passionate, they often penetrate the ears and hearts of the characters. When the grieving heroine of Blue is suddenly overwhelmed by notes from a stoic oratorio, those notes are Preisner’s; when the lost protagonist of Red finds solace in an aria she plays at a record store, the music flowing through her headphones is his. Kieślowski may have written the stories—with the help of screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz and screenplay consultants Agnieszka Holland, Edward Zebrowski, Slawomir Idziak, Edward Kłosiński, and Piotr Sobociński—but Preisner deserves credit for cocreating the trilogy’s mood of existential despair.

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