Carl Theodor DreyerFrance82 minutes1928B&WFrench
View The Passion of Joan of Arc during the The Passion of Joan of Arc event.
Carl Dreyer's unforgettable account of the interrogation and martyrdom of the French saint is one of the most legendary and influential films in cinema history.
"One of the greatest of all movies" (Pauline Kael), shown in a new print with live piano accompaniment, The Passion of Joan of Arc must count as imperative. A film of daunting beauty and strangeness, Passion concentrates on the last eight hours in the life of the martyred saint, in which she refuses to sign a confession and is burned at the stake. The film is famous for, among other things, the script's adherence to the trial records; Rudolph Maté's cruel, canted, and cropped compositions of Joan and her tormentors, and the abstract use of space; the shocking topography of flesh, often in intense close-up, and its anointments of blood, tears, and spittle; and, especially, Falconetti's self-obliterating performance as Joan. (Compare and contrast to Bresson's version of Joan's trial.) Little wonder that Passion has been so loved and alluded to by other artists, from Godard in Vivre sa vie to Adrienne Rich in Cartographies of Silence. "Perhaps the most pure and perfect expression of Dreyer's art" (Ib Monty).