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.
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,…
''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…
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,…
The sound of silence has never been more deafeningly beautiful.
The Passion of Joan of Arc is often regarded as one of the best films of the silent era. This is... putting it mildly. It's an incredible picture, although at times hard to watch, that perfectly encompasses everything that can be wonderful and breathtaking about films without sound.
Apparently there are versions out there that have scores added, but I watched a completely silent version, and it was borderline scary at times. The way Renee Maria Falconetti uses her eyes to tell you everything you need to know about what is going on in Joan's head completely digs into you, in a way that is actually really unpleasant. Director Carl Theodore Dreyer uses extreme close-ups of all involved to pretty…
This film is one I've known about for a very long time, a silent classic lauded particularly for the central performance of Joan by Renee Falconetti. While I will concede it's a very well shot film, with an interesting visual style that's different, and works, I didn't love it. That's to say I recognised and appreciated the art, but I didn't necessarily enjoy it all that much. It's a one note piece, filled with despair and depression, as Joan refuses to budge on her belief that she saw a holy vision. In a show of defiance, she costs herself her own life, and the fact that it's a true story makes it all the more harrowing. The use of close…
Wow. A breathtaking film that boast nothing but remarkably beautiful shots of Falconetti in a role for the ages.
Watching this I felt as if a moth were trapped in my chest, beating against my heart, panicked and fluttering. I believe this film may be perfect, and with its perfection it carries that ability to exclaim and resonate on a deeply personal level. I'm haunted.
I am... surprised... that I enjoyed this. I understand the love for silent films, by a lot of people, but I have found almost all of what I've seen to be overrated and I feel like a lot of people probably pretend to love them to seem sophisticated. Of course, many people will also genuinely enjoy the silent cinema - in my case, though, I just believe there can be so much more done in modern film, if you look at Malick's or Aronofsky's or Fincher's films.
Every now and then, you watch something from the silent era that absolutely blows you away: something like 'The Passion of the Joan of Arc' or 'Nosferatu' - in fact, the only thing…
It is not hard to see why this is such a highly rated and respected silent film. I must confess that I was not as enthralled as many seem to be, but the approach of basing the script on the actual documentation of the historic story is quite powerful, and the lead actress proves more than I have ever seen elsewhere that sound is not necessary to portray your character and move the audience.
A while back I ordered this at my local music and video store (yes, these still exist where I live), and thought I was gonna go right home and watch it, and of course love it.
Half of that, if not less, came true. I TRIED to watch it, but after 10-15 minutes I was gone, as good as dead, sleeping through one of the GREAT masterpieces, which just also happened to be by a Danish director (I should add that I am danish).
Could it be that I found the great masterpiece of the great Danish director to be.. dull? I could already hear the riots outside my window from angry danes accusing me of treason, and smell…
With 2005 Mie Yanashita score.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Sunday, August 3, 2014, 3:02 PM EST
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that…