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…
This has some super interesting visuals. I've never seen anything like it but somehow it really worked for me. The movie may be slow at times but overall the story was quite engaging. Everything is overdramatic but I kind of got lost in it. The whole film stayed true to its title by bringing a lot of passion and emotion to the screen with it's camera work, acting, sets, etc. I can totally see how this has grabbed an important spot in movie history. And to top it off the soundtrack entitled "The Voices of Light" was fucking brilliant. Seriously some of the most powerful shit I've ever heard.
Very slowly paced and pretty boring, the score is what makes this worth watching.
#Followbruary2015 Film 6, fave of /gdw
Very powerful stuff. It was difficult to find a version with a decent soundtrack though and I ended up watching it in silence which made immersion more difficult. Even so it's a very distinctive and affecting film and I can understand why it's so highly regarded. It does what it intends to perfectly and my proportionately low score is due to personal taste rather than ignorance of its mastery.
Watched a completely silent version of this, and I sincerely wished there was an accompanying score. The last segment of the film is powerful enough to stand on its own, but the first part calls for the kind of emotional hint that a score could help with.
Falconetti delivers such a performance that is appears you are watching her having a nervous breakdown on film. I've never seen anything like it.
I also appreciated the unusual angles the director used, which places the audience in Joan's viewpoint. I was reminded of the "seated" angle Ozu used in his films, although here the angles are more about positions of power in the story -- who has it and who very clearly doesn't.
Falconetti probably gives the best performance of all time here, and yet the film doesn't lose an inch of its power after she dies. The reason is somewhat simple: while Bresson's (great) film portrays a defiant Joan, her verbal wit every bit the equal of her judges, Dreyer, still unable to use sound, chooses to focus on her misteps on trial, her unprepared state, never once letting us forget the simple fact that this woman shouldn't be there. "You murdered a saint!", a man screams right after she dies, and we can do nothing but agree.
Hurts more and more every time. To me, this is a film that essentially defies commentary. Hell, I'll go a step further and say that it's not so much a film as much as it is a master's course on the human spirit.
The ultimate Valentines Day movie, y'all: 114 minutes of lyric ecstasy between the bright wets of Renee Maria Falconetti's eyes and some invisible but tangible truth they've seen in the face of God. Which is not to take away from how deeply, heartbreakingly human every single face is, seemingly caught in the jaws of Dryer's prowling camera. I have nothing to compare The Passion of Joan of Arc to, not in movies, so intimate and abrupt, so operatic and timeless as it is. I know that sounds like adjective soup, or cheeky contradiction, but that's really what's going on here. Everything is going on here, courage and hope and pain and hypocrisy and Falconetti's eyes in tears that will not…
Holds up even after all these years.
This is a film that I need to see again before accurately rating and reviewing it. That being said, I do want to document my thoughts from my first viewing and then compare them to whenever I revisit it.
I found everything in the film, the acting, the score, the cinematography, etc, to be pretty fantastic. I can't really say the same for the story. The film is way to slow for me even though the payoff at the end justifies it. The writing was good but I do think there were some instances that required a bit more drama to make the story move along.
Though a bit repetitive, the score is wonderful and had me loving specific scenes…
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