Staff Picks: Krzysztof Kieślowski

Staff Picks: Krzysztof Kieślowski


Krzysztof Kieślowski, Talking Heads (clip), 1979. Courtesy of Documentary and Feature Film Studios (WFDiF), Warsaw.

October 1, 2022
Staff Picks: Krzysztof Kieślowski
October 1–31, 2022
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e-flux Video & Film is very pleased to present this month’s staff pick: Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Talking Heads (1979, 14 minutes), streaming from October 1 through October 31, 2022.

In this documentary-cum-survey made in 1979, basic existential questions are asked in the form of a street survey probe. Forty-four selected Poles, representing various professions and ranging in age from seven to a hundred years old, answer three questions: When were you born? Who are you? What do you want (in life)? The result of the survey was a synthesized, though not necessarily representative, picture of the state of consciousness in Polish society less than two years before the events of August 1980 and the birth of the Solidarity trade union. In expressing their thoughts, the people are connected, for instance, by a longing for social change leading to greater justice, freedom, democracy and tolerance, as well as by a moral opposition to the institutions of “backscratching” and “friends in high places.” Kieslowski provides material for reflection on what worries and vexes people in the reality around them and on how human desires change with age and life experience.

Watch the film here.

About the artist
Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941–96) was an influential Polish arthouse film director and screenwriter known internationally for his television series The Decalogue (1989), and his feature films The Double Life of Véronique (1991) and the Three Colors trilogy (1993–94). Kieślowski received numerous awards during his career, including the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize (1988), FIPRESCI Prize (1988, 1991), and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (1991); the Venice Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize (1989), Golden Lion (1993), and OCIC Award (1993); and the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear (1994); and has been nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Writing nominations (1995).

About the series 
e-flux Video & Film: Staff Picks is a monthly streaming series of staff picks and recommended videos designed to disrupt the monotony of an algorithm. Before the end times of big data, we used to discover suggested content along dusty shelves in video rental stores, where Post-it notes scribbled by shift workers implored us to experience the same movies that made them guffaw, scream, or weep. Sometimes the content bored us, sometimes it overwhelmed us, and sometimes, as if by magic, it was just right. e-flux invites you to relive this rental store mode of perusal, with personalized picks curated through judgment that does not take into consideration your viewing history. 

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October 1, 2022

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