Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Joanne D’Arc (Maria Falconetti) is tried for her crimes of heresy by the church. Things for her don’t turn out well. Everyone I suppose knows the story of Joan of Arc. Young fifteenth century peasant girl impersonates a boy to fight the English because God told her to. She is tried for heresy and, well, you know what happens when you take god’s word over the church’s.

The story here isn’t about the story, but about the drama. Filmed almost entirely in closeups, with no makeup, against sparse sets, putting the intentions and emotions of the characters on clear display. In case you are curious: Ugly+Old+Man = Evil. An equation that works even today.

Canonized only eight years prior to the films release, the recently published transcripts of the trial were the basis for the script. Falconetti, a stage actress, did not want to cut her hair or be filmed without makeup. By many accounts her treatment by director Carl Theodor Dreyer was tortuous. The end result was one of the most praised films of early cinema.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a fantastic film because of its simplicity. It’s a simple story, simply shot, and wonderfully done. AMRU 4.
“Joan of Arc with the Lord to guide her … she was a sister who really cooked!”

No comments:

Post a Comment