From the very beginning of the movie I just knew: if I hadn’t being doing all of these readings about embodiment and lived experiences, and most certainly if I hadn’t read Kickasola’s review, I would have been lost. in. the. sauce.

I believe this quote is attributed to Aldous Huxley, although I couldn’t find very much proof on the interwebs to back that up, but: “The more you know, the more you see”. Knowing, the little that I know, I enjoyed the movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if  the Hollywood style of storytelling has dulled my perception, and Double Life was certainly an exercise in perception. The symbolism and foreshadowing was very subtle, to my eyes, at least (thanks Kickasola!), but having spent nearly the past year learning about lived experience, I felt the sensory depictions in the movie were particularly strong.

I know they say that when you’re performing a play on stage, there should be no extraneous action or prop, everything should contribute to the story. What I really appreciate about Kieślowski is that he embeds the symbolism in a lot of actions that could be dismissed as extraneous, in that they don’t obviously tell a story. That technique really emphasizes the extraordinary in ordinary everyday things — and really heightens the sense of significance when you realize, for example, that when Weronika turns her little ball in her hand, she’s literally crossing the stars that are embedded in it. She’s holding an ill-fated life-world, symbolically and literally.

It’s striking how ordinary everything is. The most significant hints of the supernatural are expressed through the camerawork and the film score (which plays its silences just as well as it does its melodies). But apart from these cues, there’s very little else that says “Hey! Pay attention to me, the string Weronika’s wrapping around her finger — I’m a portent!”; well, except maybe the literal mirroring of Véronique that happens throughout the film, but you’re probably already primed to notice that from the title and the first bit of the film. And on that note, I’ll sign off — or I’ll be late to class.

 

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