1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Wiki

The Passion of Joan of Arc.jpeg

#43. The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc)

  • Year: 1928
  • Country: France
  • Production: Société générale, 110m B&W Silent
  • Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Screenplay: Joseph Delteil, Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Photography: Rudolph Maté
  • Cast: Renée Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz, Antonin Artaud

Abridged Book Description

Carl Dreyer's 1928 masterpiece - his last silent film, and the greatest of all Joan of Arc films - is the work of his that brought him worldwide fame, although, like most of his later pictures, it was strictly a succés d'estime and fared poorly at the box office. A print of the original version - lost for half a century - was rediscovered in a Norwegian mental asylum in the 1980s... Joan is played by Renée Falconetti, a stage actress Dreyer discovered in a boulevard comedy, and following his instructions, she played the part without makeup. She and her interlocutors are filmed exclusively in close-ups, Though hers is one of the key performances in the history of movies, she never made another film... Dreyer's radical approach to constructing space and the slow intensity of his mobile camera style make this a "difficult" film in the sense that, like all great films, it reinvents the world from the ground up. The Passion of Joan of Arc is also painful in a way that all Dreyer's tragedies are, but it will continue to live long after most commercial movies have vanished from memory.