The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc, a young woman inspired by God to lead an army against the English, is put on trial by priests who try to force her to confess that her visions were false.
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…
Robert De Niro sure hasn't aged much since 1928.
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…
OF COURSE Carl Theodor Dreyer would, after selecting Joan of Arc as the subject of his movie, choose to film a transcript of her trial over any sort of historical opus. And with that decision, and the decision of casting theater actor Maria Falconetti, he made cinematic history.
Lots of close-ups. LOTS. But here, they're not as off-putting as perhaps other attempts at artistic expression thanks to the hyperactive editing that Dreyer employs. The judges, seated upon high and having every nook and cranny and wart of their faces exposed on film, shout impossible questions at Joan who, even through tears, holds steadfast and strong. Beneath her wide eyes, however, we watch her slowly crack to a subtle pain that…
It's difficult to give a rating to a movie that was essentially put together from leftovers. Would love to see the original cut as well but hey, what're you gonna do.
A striking silent movie from director Carl Dreyer.
Class, UCSC - FILM 130
the most overrated film ever
Class, UCSC - FILM 120
"Vedi Leo, ecco come si esprimono le emozioni senza parlare."
Slow but engaging. Incredibly beautiful and sad.
Technically (as in formally) the film is brilliant. The cinematography is innovative. The performances are spectacular, especially the portrayal of Joan. However, the film drags along at a snails pace even at 80 mins long. I can understand why it's hailed as a classic, but it just didn't resonate with me.
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All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…