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The Director's Intentions. A Record of Assumptions

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This text is a 'record' of assumptions about the intentions motivating Krzysztof Kieslowski and the opinions which this director could have voiced in a discussion on 'The eye, the view, representation. The image in culture'. All the questions and answers come from the authoress of the article. The basic point of reference is a series of TV films made in 1988/1989 under the joint title of 'Decalogue'. By citing the statements made by the director (K. Kieslowski 'About Myself', Kraków 1997) and proposing an interpretation of selected fragments of the 'Decalogue', the authoress outlines the artistic path followed by Kieslowski (a departure from the documentary film for the sake of the feature film) as a consequence of perceiving the danger that might be created by the power wielded by the director over the viewers of his films. In order to preserve a so-called director's sincerity the artist begins to deprive himself of the right to use certain means while working on a concrete film. Relinquishing them one after the other, he is finally left with nothing and compelled to resign from making movies. This takes place in a situation when the director becomes aware of the necessity of taking into consideration three intermingling perspectives: the author or authors, the protagonists, and the spectator. As a consequence - he also experiences the need to suggest to the spectator the existence of these viewpoints, a task achieved with the assistance of certain 'signs'. The director is forced to leave behind assorted traces of his presence in the film: sufficiently ambiguous so that their meaning could not be identified with a certain single thought which he supposedly wished to express and at the same time sufficiently unambiguous so that they could be noticed by the spectator and recognized not as signs referring to some sort of meanings. Unwilling to appear in the role of a judge (and not wishing to allow the recipient to assume such a rank) the director must accomplish within the film an 'interiorization' of a single perception, i. e. his own and the spectator's. The basic problem which concentrates the analyses and interpretations proposed by the authoress of this text, is the possibility of implementing the above-outlined ideal and indicating those of its consequences which could turn against the good intentions of the artist who wishes to retain his honesty as a director.
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  • A. Sawicka, c/o Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Filozofii, Zaklad Estetyki, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 3, 00-047 Warszawa, Poland
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