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…
It is frightening to think we nearly lost this film forever. Carl Dreyer’s incredible work was destroyed in a fire in Germany. Remarkably, he reconstructed another negative, which was destroyed in a fire in France. The film was released in 1928; it faced the anger of censors in France and UK. Getting the film to the public was a trial in itself. It was worth it. This is one of the gargantuan works of world cinema.
One of the pleasures of watching early works is to see their influence on modern cinema; say tracing the routes of science fiction from Metropolis through to Blade Runner and beyond. But the Passion of Joan of Arc is different. It is a unique…
I have never handed out a 5 to a film so quickly and I'm not quite sure I ever will again. In order for me to consider any kind of art as being a masterpiece, it must connect with me on both an emotional and intellectual level. But above all else, it must open up my mind, make me more aware of certain ideologies or concepts and overall shape me in becoming a better, more rounded person.
I am not a religious person. I do not believe in any form of organized religion nor any type of god, in the traditional sense at least. This does not make me an atheist however. Who am I to say that there isn't…
After finally viewing Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, I can see how it has been quite an influential piece of cinema. Not only did it remind me of the Bergman film Passion of Anna nominally and thematically (since it also focuses on a matriarchal figure), but also the contemporary Polish film Ida. The resemblances that struck me most with the films were still close-ups on the main female characters, the grey/raw tone of the films (not only because of the black and white, but also because of the use of shadow, lack of makeup, etc.), and lack of dialogue of the main female characters. Although she seems to possess some sort of divine agency, Joan of Arc remains stationary…
I absolutely could not, by will, look away. What a masterpiece, the crown of silent cinema
This was really good. The story was very simple, and the way the movie was filmed was perfect to give the intense mood of the story. All the close-ups instead of wide shots or medium close-ups was brilliant, because it made you focus on the eyes of each character.
"We have great sympathy for you."
A SHORT AND BITTERSWEET OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM (most of whom are probably dead, but the sentiment is there)
Honestly, Dreyer and co.
Talk about setting the bar unfairly high at an unfairly early stage.
You're not allowed to nail the medium of cinema just yet.
That goes for you, Falconetti. At least give someone else a chance to keep up with your tour de force.
In 87 years, we might have had a handful of performances that are as good or even (at a push, by a nose, etc.) slightly better. Just stop with your amazingly convincing and endless supplies of giant globules of tears running down your face. It's not fair to break that many hearts over nearly a century.
Yours sincerely, and all my love,
Simon of Gateshead
"You are no daughter of God. You are the tool of Satan."
Using the record of trial, Dreyer constructs his beautifully edited film as a symphony of faces in closeup, the ever changing expressions of each character telling us more about their thoughts and motives than could ever be expressed by spoken dialogue. The inquisitors probe her with inane questions, seeming as upset at her belief she is enacting God's will to drive the English out of France as at the fact she wears men's clothing. Stage actor Renee Falconetti, in her only film appearance, gives one of the great performances in cinema history as we watch her think her way through formulating evasive responses, to expressing terror at her situation, to repentance that she denied God's plan for her and signed…
Another first time watch on the big screen and it was glorious and intense. A soprano and organist provided superb accompaniment at Union Chapel.