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…
Avoiding the famous events that led to this famous trial, Carl Theodor Dreyer documents the trial of Joan of Arc, where she is accused of heresy and disrespect towards the Catholic Church. The ascetic director presents us another beautiful, yet devastating film that pretends to alarm the viewers of the religious dictatorship that ran the world in the old days.
This devastating work of art is a biting commentary upon the Catholic Church and the political power it possessed at a time when this greedy institution dominated an oppressed society. In this film, the famous Joan of Arc—who had 'just' saved her country—is attacked by the intolerance and inflexibility of the church in a time when the society was dominated…
this is my relationship to this movie and cinema: hassanvawda.com/post/101333091187/my-joan-of-ants-2014-acrylic-oil-pen-on
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The rare Christian film that is itself an ecstatic religious text. I watched The Passion of Joan of Arc in a dark room with no score and as the light flickered I remembered a moment in Herzog’s The White Diamond when the director looked at his cameraman and said “In celluloid we trust” before boarding a rickety airship. One can’t escape the idea that this biography of a Christian extremist is itself a product of another kind of religious extremist. Dreyer keeps his camera tight on the face of Joan--a procession of closeups and whirling camera work that gives the film the flavor of a collage piece. He builds sets the camera utterly ignores. By some accounts, he tortures his…
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a powerful experience, an experience I found to be oppressively bleak. The camera angles and the close-ups are magnificently effective, but it has an excess of dialogue for a silent film, and the set looks flimsy.
Heralded as a classic of silent film, Dreyer paints a gorgeous black and white, stark portrait of Joan's final days. I saw this in my cinema and I really, really enjoyed it. I was kinda tired and drifted out of conciousness during the middle but this didn't effect my viewing of the film, only served to enhance the surreal passing of time that occurs. It was my first time seeing it and I was geared up for Falconetti's much revered performance (it's been described as "the finest in the history of film") and it really was magnificent. Hard to describe and difficult to bear at times, it is the basis for the whole film and it would suffer without her incredible gaze. One of the more impactful, memorable and aesthetically dynamic silent films I have seen and I very much recommend it.
A true classic of silent cinema. As viscerally engaging today as it must have been in the 1920s.
This was pretty horrific, but it will leave you with some strong images planted in your brain. It’s a difficult film. It will make you feel, that’s for sure, but intense feelings alone aren’t enough to make something valuable.
This film tributes a mertyr, but I have a hard time with the concepts of martyrs in the first place.
Well done. The closeups are fantastic. There are many beautiful things. But I’m not sure this is really a film for me.
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