Friday, April 9, 2010

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

There is nothing I can say about this film that can express how phenomenal, how moving, how incredibly beautiful it is.  Extremely ahead of its time, foreshadowing work by Fellini; Dreyer's use of almost constant closeups is unnerving and highly effective.

Renee Falconetti gives a raw and unearthly performance as the Maid of Orleans.  This was her first and last role, and I can see why - it is emotionally destroying.  Only the fact that I was watching this at home, with its ambient distractions, kept me from dissolving completely into anguish.

To say this is highly recommended is a massive understatement.  Simply one of the best films ever made.

I give this one:



Jennythenipper said...

Based on one viewing on TCM a few years ago, I put this movie near the top of my silent films list and endeavored to see as many of Deyer's films as possible. Like the best silents, it looks fresh, like it could have been some arty experimental film made at any point in history.

Avalon76 said...

That's so incredibly true - it is timeless, almost dreamlike.

rudyfan1926 said...

Heh, ymmv on this one, mine does. Gosh, put needles under my eyelids but don't make me watch this again. Compelling closeups for me are better viewed as stills in a book. Shrug!