Genova - moving forward

“Genova” directed by Michael Winterbottom,
written by Winterbottom and Laurence Coriat

Contrary to my “Metropolis” complains about the lack of narrative progress the field evolves and it happens fast.

For example “Genova” starring Colin Firth and great Catherine Keener, the film about "moving forward", which also moves forward the narrative craft. To me "Genova" effectively reworks “Three colors: Blue.” Strange that nobody mentions it. I hope I am not going nuts! Of course I do not know if Winterbottom consciously enters into the dialog with Kieślowski. Yet, even if directing this film is more instinctual and less cerebral, we the viewers are entitled to argue and point out such (possible) connections.

The first scene is the most obvious. A car crash in both films opens the story. In “Genova” the grieving wife from “Blue” is replaced by the grieving dad and two daughters. In what follows, thematic, sequential, psychological parallels to the Kieślowski masterpiece abound.

Stylistically both films are hugely different, which is as intriguing as it is encouraging. That’s why many directorial aspects of “Genova” (and “Blue”) are worth studying.

I will add “Genova” to the list of analyzed films during my upcoming seminars (“Blue” is already there.) You need to be a SWPS student to attend. Unless I return to offering independent workshops, which may happen. So stay tuned!


  1. Perhaps the film Gerona could be seen as the complement of Kieslowski's film Three Colours Blue in the sense that the husband and children are the survivors this time round but the wife isn't. Aside from that, Three Colours Blue is intentionally part of Kieslowski's trilogy for a reason, and Gerona would ideally have to be part of a trilogy to be considered in the same sense. The problem with the viewing of the three films of Kieslowski's Trilogy as well as the ten episodes of his Decalogue is that some film-goers have begun to regard the films as separate entities rather than different views of one same film. In the case of the Decalogue, this can lead to overlooking the subtle threads linking the different characters who live on the same Warsaw housing estate. To be honest, the individual characters of the Decalogue are not as important as the issues Kieslowski was trying to raise. The broad analogy of the Decalogue episodes with the Catholic Ten Commandments was primarily for the benefit of the predominantly Catholic Polish audience but there was much more than just ten Bibical commandments being handled by Kieslowski in the Decalogue. Returning to the film Gerona, I think I will have to watch it again this weekend but from a different angle.

    Alexandre FABBRI

  2. It would indeed be interesting to hear your take on the overlaps in the two films. I feel there is plenty to explore there.