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September 1996, Week 3


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Dan Gribbin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 12:28:54 -0400
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I have not yet done anything resembling a systematic study of "La Double Vie
de Veronique" but was happy to see a posting on it from Peggy Weaver in
Santiago.  Kieslowski toys with the idea of a psychic connection between the
two Veroniques, of course, by having the French Veronique express an
unexplained sadness on the day that her Polish counterpart is dying.  Late in
the film, the creation of two puppets to portray one character in the
puppeteer's show, if interpreted on a human level, might be meant to suggest
that each of us indeed has an alter ego.  Kieslowski gives us, in this film,
alter egos who look exactly alike (which wouldn't necessarily have to be the
case) and who, ironically, inhabit the same square in Kracow in the same
instant, before the French tour bus pulls away.  The idea may be that the
lives of alter egos are fated to interact at some point.  I want to do more
thinking about the film and would love to have comments about what others
have found in it.  In a course I teach involving both fiction and film from
the last half of the 20th century, I have had the students study works
involving the doppelganger or alter ego, including the film "Desperately
Seeking Susan" and the short story by Philip Roth entitled "Eli, the Fanatic"
from the collection "Goodbye, Columbus and Other Stories."
Dan Gribbin
Ferrum College
Ferrum, VA
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