All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Passion of Joan of Arc is the masterpiece from Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer that depicts the story of French martyr Joan from Orleans seven years after her canonization from the catholic church.
I watched this twice, back to back. Once with sound, once without. Both times I was gobsmacked by what was laid out before me on screen. Watching this film feels like having the weight of our history looking over your shoulder with you. It is teeming with historical framing and importance, regarding both its shape and content.
Completely ignoring historical context Dreyer’s film opts to relate Joan of Arc’s story by focussing on her trial and execution and the suffering that went along with it. No sweeping shots of her military victories, no familiar backdrop, it assumes that its audience knows who we’re dealing with here and chooses to focus on her last days and how she suffered through them.…
I am not a religious man. Growing up, my mother took me to church because she felt she should, an obligation rather than any actual deep connection to a deity or the scripture that was referenced each week. My father would spend each Sunday morning out in nature, taking walks or just sitting and reflecting on the beauty of the world around him, thus he would rarely if ever join us at church. As I hated going and found the one hour to be painfully boring, absorbing nothing from the teachings of Jesus Christ, I finally spoke up and asked my old man why it was fair that I had to go and he didn't.
He explained that he did…
I never believed the hype. A film made in the 20s, a silent film made in the 20s, being declared by some to be the best film ever made? Sounds like something only a film historian could say. Sounds like homework, like you have to know about film in the 20s to see how this one sets itself apart. Yawn. At least it is only 82 minutes.
I believe the hype now, and I ain't no film historian.
Dreyer didn't want to tell the story of Joan of Arc, he wanted to tell the story of The Passion of Joan of Arc. If Joan is God's daughter, she met the same fate as her brother. Both had trials. Both were…
After a recent watch of Mexican director Carlos Reygadas’ wonderful Silent Light, and subsequent urging from LB friends to seek out Dreyer’s Ordet, it became apparent that it was time to tackle Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc from our list of shame as a warm up.
As a reference point, we watched the Criterion DVD with the Voices of Light musical accompaniment track. As another point of reference, my historical knowledge of Joan of Arc was woefully lacking, as is my knowledge of silent film.
I’ll just begin by saying that it’s visually arresting. The ability to see this startling beauty is due to the discovery of a near pristine original print in 1981 and subsequent Criterion restoration,…
In a review posted in 1997, Roger Ebert wrote "You cannot know the history of silent film unless you know the face of Renee Maria Falconetti." What makes this statement fascinating is that anyone even remotely familiar with that era of film would think first of the stars of the time like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and perhaps Harold Lloyd, yet he invokes the name Falconetti as a necessary piece of cinematic knowledge. Was she a star at the time, a familiar face recognized from multiple silent classics? She was not. In fact, her lead role in The Passion of Joan of Arc was her one and only appearance on film during her life. It didn't require her to speak…
''Will I be with You tonight in Paradise?''
An old English proverb states ''The eyes are the windows to the soul'', and never has that statement seemed so apt as it does with this astounding work from Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent era. Never have I seen such a powerful testament to faith under persecution as this film presents, with it's painfully tortured performance from Maria Falconetti as Jeanne d'Arc who embodies strength and devotion under heretical judgement even unto the bittersweet end.
The way Dreyer frames and focuses on the faces of his subjects is an inspired decision in finding the truth in the material and making the actors accountable to their performance. Every tear shed is like blade to…
The magnitude of The Passion of Joan of Arc‘s (1928) importance is hard to put in words. This is when films stopped looking like stage plays and started looking like art. It is so unlike the typical credence of a film from the 20’s. There is no bombast or brightness here. This is a film that relies on immaculate shot composition to paint a fragmented picture of an historical event that has never been duplicated quite like it since. There is no sound, no audible dialogue to tell the story. If there was, it would lose it’s impact. Instead, we have a film full of angry and tortured faces, silently yelling or whispering. We are forced to get intimate with…
How haunting, how purely tragic.
There's little that I can say about Carl Theodor Dreyer's masterpiece that hasn't already been said in more eloquent terms by a thousand different writers. Simply put, it is one of the most deeply affecting cinematic experiences in the history of film, to say nothing of just silent film.
Unlike other biographies of the famed martyr, Dreyer does not focus on the life of Joan of Arc. There are no shots of her military victories (or any role she may have played in them) nor any time of her with the French people she led at all (the film picks up after she had already been handed over to the English for her inquisition). However, the narrative of the story…
Beautiful, but quite emotionally draining. I watched with Voices of Light accompanying the film. No need for me to blab about how amazing Falconetti is or how incredible the cinematography is. Dreyer's last silent film is a masterpiece. I hate to admit that this is the only Dreyer I've seen, but I am so excited to see more.
There isn't much I can add to my previous review of this astounding masterpiece. I am quite confident that Carl Theodor Dreyer mastered film as a medium already in 1928. Because this isn't only a film that dramatizes an event that happened, it is actually giving us the chance to relive it as if we were in the court with the little meekish woman called Jeanne D'arc. The way that the film attacks all senses violently for it's whole duration is incredibly draining, I went almost into "crash-control" during the film. I felt so attacked by my own senses that I could not take in everything that happened.
When Jeanne cries, I cry, when she is scared I am. With…
The best silent film of all time, featuring Falconetti giving the greatest performance ever as Joan of Arc, Dreyer's "Passion" is a festival of faces and expressions that could easily be one of the greatest movies ever made if it hadn't lost the rythm of the face transition near the middle of the film. It's simply hypnotic to watch those faces, those expressions accompanied by, in my case, the awesome Voices of Light as score. Unlike many old classics that made big technical contributions to cinema, the use of the novel angles and takes in The Passion of Joan of Arc is not just innovative, but in fact perfect, as it's necessary to achive the effect.
The Passion of Joan…
Main character's facial expressions about as subtle as a boulder is light. Specific Chicago "Joan of Arc" soundtrack I listened along with it was pretty dreadful, oftentimes resembling a broken printer mixed with half-dead parodies of rock ballads, but that's not the movie's fault. Interesting cinematography in places, but characters are one-note and Joan's drugged out look takes away from what are supposed to be serious moments. What religious symbolism the film does have is heavy handed beyond belief. In the end, when Joan of Arc is (spoilers!) burning alive, it is not enough for there to be a full minute of Joan holding a cross with Jesus attached, nor another half a minute of Joan staring at it while burning, she needs to scream "Jesus!" in order to fully drive the point home.
Surely hugely innovative in it's field, but does not hold up.
The Passion of Joan of Arc is one of the best films ever made. It is a study of the relationship between man and God, a study of religion in the very spiritual sense of the term. It does this by painting priests as barriers between Joan and God rather than as conduits, showing priests often looking down at Joan to serve as physical impediments to a direct relationship between Joan and the heavens above. The film also contains a good deal of negative space. This lack of interest in humanly creations recalls the existence and omnipresence of God. An excellent work of art, The Passion of Joan of Arc continues to entertain and mystify nearly 90 years after its release.