Kieslowski’s Virtual Realism: Remediation and Revolution in the "Color Trilogy"
The Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's shift from documentary to fiction filmmaking has been marked, particularly in his later, more stylized films, by a concern with a new form of realism, namely, with what one could call a "virtual realism." While most current discussions of virtual reality treat the concept in relation to the rise of digital technology, Kieslowski develops a very different concept of virtuality, and one which is more dramatic than aesthetic: the co-existence of alternate realities which intersect with one another in limited but essential ways. This paper proposes to examine the films that comprise what has come to be known as the Color Trilogy - Blue (1993), White (1994), and Red (1994) - with a view toward showing how the use of color motifs create networks of virtual relations that are multi-layered and multivalent, instilling their own sense of reality.
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Art Cinema, Color Theory, Mediation, Realism
Dr. Sabine Doran
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Riverside