Whereas, Ten Hours of Polish Film is NOT an Ordeal...

I came to Kieslowski for the fateful mystery of La Double Vie de Veronique, but I stayed for the unassuming, naturalistic power of the Dekalog.

This seminal ten-part series of films is playing this weekend at Symphony Space in NYC. POV has an excellent write-up, with good links to get you in the mood.

The Decalogue was one of the greatest unwatchable works of film, ever. For years in North America, the series, which Kieslowski and writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz originally made for Polish TV, was kept off of video and DVD by weird rights disputes. But it'd turn up at film festivals and cinematheques, and you'd suddenly have to figure out how to shoehorn ten hours of moviegoing into two or three days. It was an experience prewired to disappoint, or, more precisely, leave you wanting.

By 2000, I'd only managed to see half of the installments, when an odd one-year distribution agreement brought a bare-bones 2-DVD set to the market. I snapped it up, and since then I've been steeping regularly in some of the most engrossing storytelling around.

This year, The Decalogue reappeared in a far superior 3-disc format, complete with several Kieslowski interviews and other real supplementary material. So get up to Symphony Space for at least a couple of episodes, then watch and rewatch them at home. Of course, GreenCine rents them one disc at a time; it may be better, emotionally, to pace yourself.

[related: the effects of watching Dekalog on an impressionable new filmmaker]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: October 23, 2003.

next older post:
On Transit and Memory

next newer post:
I have a friend at the MPAA

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99