Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Passion of Joan of Arc strictly details the inquisition, trial, and execution of the poor peasant girl from Orleans who took up the Lord's calling, lead a French brigade during the Hundred Year's War, and ultimately liberated her people following her martyrdom. Carl Theodore Dreyer's silent film is an extremely simple work, filmed exclusively on one set and featuring an unrelenting succession of close-ups, that stands among the most powerful and intimate movies ever made. Maria Falconetti, a stage actress who shows zero successive screen credits and two obscure prior ones, delivers a haunting, unforgettable, deeply affecting performance, saying more with her eyes than most performers could with fifty pages of dialogue. The Passion of Joan of Arc makes the case for silent movies, movies as art, and movies as a power to move.