Trois Couleurs: Bleu(1993); Krzysztof Kieslowski, director.

Kieslowski’s Three Colors – you can’t call yourself a film snob without watching ‘em. The best of the bunch is Red, the most entertaining (by far) is White but the one with the most artistic resonance is Blue.

(One of my favorite pedants, my wife’s seventy-year old professor uncle, says this is the only movie he’s every seen that comes close to being a transcendent work of art. He’s a psychopath, but I adore hanging out with him at family functions.)

Anyway, in Blue Juliette Binoche survives an accident that kills her composer husband. She decides that for her to live on she must cut herself off from her previous life entirely. This film shows how that is not only impossible, but probably unwise. It is also reliant more on mood than actual plot, but I think you’ll find that even if the act of watching this film is unfulfilling, the images will resonate with you for some time.

Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990); Anthony Minghella, director.

Severus Snape is a G-G-G-HOST!?!?!

This movie started out as a made-for-TV gig in Britain (those stupid Brits and their good broadcast TV!) and turned Anthony Minghella into a major Hollywood player.

Yeah, it’s basically Ghost (or former TBMYPHS alum Kiss Me Goodbye) but it is really funny and really sweet and has its own unique spin on memory – that we tend to only remember the good things about people we love, which maybe isn’t the most healthy thing to do when trying to accept someone’s passing.

Solaris (1972); Andrei Tarkovsky, director.

Leave it to the Russians to produce a large scale science fiction epic and center it around one man’s journey into the dark emptyness of his crushed soul.

All the rockets and sentient interplanetary oceans can’t keep a man’s thoughts away from the loss of a loved one – and in this notorious “cultural vegetable” he will eventually, and slowly, let his thoughts take over his life.

(PS – the guy who wrote that NY Times article is an idiot. Hit that hyperlink to go feel superior about yourself, but a little bit depressed that you don’t write for the NY Times.)

Ponette (1996); Jacques Doillon director.

Okay, that trailer makes this movie look like a Saturday Night Live parody of a foreign film – so much so that I never saw this movie in theaters because I was too busy making fun of it – but Ponette is actually something of a minor miracle. The lead actress is FOUR YEARS OLD! If they made a movie starring me at age four they’d have major work stoppages to deal with me pooping my pants.

Ponette will tear your heart out, sure, but much of it is actually just a fascinating documentary-style observation of children interacting with one another. I’m not sure how making a four year old pretend that her mother is dead isn’t considered child abuse, but this is a remarkable and unique look at coping with death.

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