All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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 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…
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…
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…
If God exists, the first place I'd look to find him is in the frames of this film.
"The face of Falconetti is as beautiful as anything you will ever see on film." - Paul Page
In addition to all the other accolades you've probably heard before, I think it's reasonably likely this is the silent film that's the most legible to modern audiences. I know a lot of you will feel exactly the way I feel when someone insists I try some kind of beer that they insist "even people who don't like beer like this one!" Trust me when I say I don't take the difficulties of watching a silent film lightly. Most modern audiences have been exposed to at least dozens of biting parodies of the cinematic language of silent films before actually seeing a silent film. The first time I saw Battleship Potemkin, generally considered one of the best films of all…
I watched this while listening to Godspeed you black emporer's album lift your skinny fists to heaven on vinyl. The two arts seemed to sync near the end...
A triumph of film.
i think i had pretty close to a perfect viewing experience at the basilica of st. mary, aside from the source not being the best. In a beautiful church, sitting at the very front in uncomfortable church pews, craning my neck up to see the film like how joan had to see her accusers, and with a 125 (I think) piece orchestra and chorus performing Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light as the music. Pretty fucking cool, I gotta say.
It’s hard to find a list of the best silent films ever made that doesn’t have Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc prominently placed, most often in the top ten (heck, The Guardian even places it at #1). Expanded lists not limited to its place in the Silent Era often include the film too, particularly the more scholarly or at least historically aware.
Dreyer’s camera hangs on tight close-ups of the face of his Joan, Renée Jeanne Falconetti in a performance also considered among cinema’s greatest. Joan had recently been canonized, elevated to iconic status for both the Catholic church and the nation of France, legendary martyr and devout heroine, and Dreyer based the film’s story…
I had been trying to watch this for so long and I was not disappointed
Cathedral of St. Paul (St. Paul, MN) with live performance of Voices of Light by the Oratorio Society Chorus & Orchestra. Saw it with my mom for her birthday. Composer Richard Einhorn was sitting in the pew in front of me about 2 people to the left.
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…