Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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.
''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 applicable 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 first time I had seen this film, I watched it in complete and utter silence as Dreyer originally intended it to be. Even without a musical score, the images displayed before me resonated deeply and I knew I was witnessing something to marvel and behold. But yet there always felt like there was something missing in my time thinking back on that first watch. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on that prevented it from "feeling" like a perfect film in my eyes. I was determined that with my rewatch I would seek out the now famous "Visions of Light" score to accompany it to see how musical composition may affect the viewing experience. Well ladies and gentlemen,…
So much has been said about this film already, this is really one of those films that makes me wonder - what is the point of reviewing it at all. Just log it, rate it and forget about it. So, because of that, I'm not reviewing it. I will instead write a little about a once in a lifetime experience I had tonight.
You see, by chance I discovered a small ad in the local paper the other day. It announced that The Passion of Joan of Arc were to be shown, once, at a nearby church, and also accompanied by live organ. Naturally I had to go there.
This church is not very old, about 110 years. And as…
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a marvellous example of a film built up by the psychological drama of close ups. The litany of faces in this film is glorious, and takes full advantage of such a presentation. A lot of the film is seen through Joan's eyes, which makes the proceedings more claustrophobic and aggressive.
The actual story comes at an odd time. Late last night I finished an essay on how religion is often utilised solely as a way of legitimising violence in modern terrorism. The martyrdom connection was hard to ignore. Given this film print was found in a mental institution, I found it hard to believe Joan all the way, even if we all sympathise…
I watched the silent version of this for about twenty minutes before accidentally pushing the audio button on my remote, causing it to switch to the "Voices of Light" musical track. The movie instantly became 100x better. I restarted the film from the beginning and was entranced and in awe for the entire running time. Carl Dreyer is such a good director that even while watching the film in its silent version I could hear the music. His images have an ebb and flow to them that made my mind hear the lovely "Voices of Light" even before I had ever heard those voices. And then when I actually did switch to the musical track, everything came together.
A stunning piece of work made even more so by the added choral score Voices of Light. So beautiful and so haunting. The sounds and images remain with me days after having watched the film and it is something I want to revisit soon.
Falconetti is spectacular as the lead; those giant, emotive eyes sucked me right into the tragic world of Jeanne and they never let go. It's like I was there for the entire ordeal, feeling the sting of the spit from the grotesque D'Estivet's lips; the scissors puling my hair as her head was unceremoniously shaved; and the heat of the flames as they licked up from the pyre. I was wiped by end of it all;…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
1st film of The French March
I guess I made a mistake watching this without the soundtrack. Dreyer didn't want it there, but I can in no way connect with this film without any sound. I guess it is not the best film to watch when you're still new to silent films, but still. I enjoyed the Chaplins I've seen so far.
The cinematography is great, and the facial expressions is without the films greatest strength in my opinion. However, I thought after a while that it was a bit too much of the weeping face of Joan. I should give this another try when I have watched some more from the era. I understand the praise, but I didn't fall for it. At least for now.
Um espetáculo mudo e em preto e branco. A fotografia é perfeita e as atuações são expressivas. Sem contar a sinfonia: maravilhosa. Bergman bebeu muito aqui
Not typically susceptible to arguments based on context, it's hard to dismiss The Passion of Joan of Arc's strong production and artistic qualities. Some, I think, overstate its power and that of Mlle. Falconetti, who can look comically deranged more often than not. What is stronger, is the performances of those around Falconetti who are either wily or sympathetic without always over-acting. That's not to say Falconetti is garbage. I plan to name my first album Falconetti's Face. When she isn't staring wildly into space like Greta Garbo on crank, Falconetti has the capacity to slowly morph into deeper, more expressive attitudes that suggest that she understands far more of what's going on than she lets on.
There's really not much to say about this film except that its reputation is justly earned. This is one of the best silent films I've ever seen, featuring a timeless, endlessly sympathetic performance by Maria Falconetti. This is a brilliant study of the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, an incredibly moving movie. It looks stunning and the understated intertitles capture the resignation and strength of its title character. The "Voices of Light" music perfectly captures the movie's emotional story and elevates it into an operatic drama. The Passion of Joan of Arc is entrancing cinema, pure and simple.
I'm sorry. I know this is one of the greatest cinematic achievements ever, I know that. Pretty much everyone on letterboxd absolutely adores this film, and I have yet to meet anyone serious about film who has seen it and had anything less to say about it than the masterpiece that it is. I know all that and I'm not really sorry for not loving it, because I did really like it. I just didn't love it, sorry not sorry.
I don't really have anything bad to say about the film in all honesty, it excels for its time and is still brilliant today. I watched the vanilla version without any…
When you watch a long string of contemporary films, then treat yourself to a beautiful black and white print of a Golden Age film, like The Maltese Falcon or How Green Was My Valley, you are reminded of just how beautiful the medium of black and white can be, and how color can sometimes be superfluous, or even a distraction.
In some respects, the same could be said of sound... there's an elegant simplicity to a film without dialog or sound effects, a purely visual experience with perhaps only a musical score, a story told with movement, expression and composition ... ballet on film.
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a beautiful silent film from French director Carl Dreyer…
Talk about revolutionary. Maria Falconetti as Joan of Arc delivers one of the best performances of all time left unhindered by the fact that the film is silent. We can feel her emotions just by her facial expressions and truly sympathise with. I am personally agnostic (though I don't believe in the Christian God) and I could still connect with the character. The themes are definitely not surface-level. Joan is alienated, protesting to corrupt 'priests' so set in their ways, she is forced to comply with silly expectations, etc.
It must have been so daring to release this film (it was banned in many places, after all). It is quite violent at times, especially for a silent film. Director Carl…
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