Passion of Joan of Arc

Has anyone watched this movie. it's a silent movie from 1928. I watched it on Netflix last night. First time I watched a silent movie. It was an hour and a half and the time flew by. I enjoyed it.

No, but it’s on my Netflix list,too.

I have it on VHS video tape. I ordered it from Ignatius Press in late 1999.

It has a very unusual history. The producer/director, Carl Theodore Dreyer, shot hundreds of feet of film. TWICE it was destroyed by fire, and twice Dreyer put another together using the extra film footage he shot. After the second fire, he gave up and went onto his next project.

Later 'bootleg' copies were distributed and shown mostly in small movie houses where such 'art' films were viewed. There was one that was circulated in the 1950s by a French film historian named 'LoDuca' [don't know the first name]. Dreyer disowned this version, and said this was not his work; he died in 1968.

Then, in the 1980s some film cans were found in a broom closet of --get this-- a mental hospital in Norway. They were brought to a film history museum in Oslo, and when they were opened, the accompanying shipping info said that this was an original print of the film that Dreyer shot! It had suffered some damage because of where it was stored [the closet], so it was digitally restored to its pristine condition!

The actress who played St. Joan, Renee Falconetti, was discovered by Dreyer in a small theater in Paris, where she was doing-- get this --- 'light comedies'. He was struck by the expression in her eyes, which you can see in the movie. He was something of a 'control freak' and made her kneel for long periods of time. In the scene where her head is shaved, the cameras had to stop rolling because she couldn't stop crying! The whole experience unnerved her that she never did another film again!

The close-ups are what make the film. It was a revolutionary concept in film-making in the 1920s. Dreyer used all kinds of weird camera angles, and dug holes on the floors of his sets to facilitate them. Behind his back, the cast and crew gave him the nickname of 'Gruyere'--which is a brand of SWISS CHEESE! [Get it? Holes in the floor....Gruyere cheese has holes...;) ]

I've shown the video of this movie twice when I've done multi-media presentations on St. Joan at local libraries. Fair warning, though: it's not the kind of movie you'd watch alone, at night, in a darkened room!

I think the way you watch a silent movie is completely different then what we’re used to. There is a lot less dialouge and much is left to the imagination as to what is being said and done. This morning I read a lot about this Saint that I knew little about and much of what I assumed was right in the movie indicating the director is a very good story teller.

This film was intended to not have a soundtrack, but the music created for this film for the video and DVD release is amazing. I had to buy the soundtrack.

Beautiful film and I wish I could see more of Dreyer's work. I never got to it. Highly recommended film and one of the best silent films.

Wonderful to hear about. I just requested it through interlibrary loan.

You can watch it online here:

watchmovieon.com/movies/the-passion-of-joan-of-arc

Very good film, it has more impact than more modern films.

[quote="Arkadin, post:5, topic:220554"]
This film was intended to not have a soundtrack, but the music created for this film for the video and DVD release is amazing. I had to buy the soundtrack.

Beautiful film and I wish I could see more of Dreyer's work. I never got to it. Highly recommended film and one of the best silent films.

[/quote]

You're talking about Richard Einhorn's 'Voices of Light', am I correct?

There's an interesting story behind this, too. In the 1980's Mr. Einhorn, a New York City-based composer, was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, leafing through their film catalogue until he saw some still photographs from the movie. It was available for viewing, so he went to the screening room and watched it.

Around two hours later, he staggered out, stunned by the film's power. He remembered that a fellow composer had once encouraged him to write a piece of music based on St. Joan. He raced home, called his friend and said he would do it.

He went to France for his research. One of the places he visited was St. Joan's birthplace, Domremy-la-Pucelle. Using a small hand-held tape recorder, he recorded the bell at the church next to the house where she was born and spent her life until she was 17. That bell is heard at key points of his compostion.

For his texts, he used Scripture passages in Latin, St. Joan's military correspondence in 'old French', and excerpts from the writings of female mystics (St. Hildegard of Bingen and Blessed Angela of Foligno among them). There are also lines from a poem praising St. Joan and her heroism, written by a contemporary of Joan's named Christine de Pisan. Christine is considered an early feminist writer.

I have the CD of 'Voices of Light'. It was the first CD I ever bought. It features four sololists, the Orchestra and Choir of Netherlands TV and Radio, and the female medieval music quarter 'Anonymous Four'. Anonymous Four provides the 'voice' of St. Joan; they sing the quotations from her correspondence. In fact, it was the first time they did any kind of 'contemporary' composition!

[quote="didymus, post:7, topic:220554"]
You can watch it online here:

watchmovieon.com/movies/the-passion-of-joan-of-arc

Very good film, it has more impact than more modern films.

[/quote]

I didn't know you can view it online-very interesting to know! Thanks, didymus from Albany!

(I'm in the central part of New York State, to the west of you :D ]

I saw the movie on You Tube. I got the recommendation from the USCCB website as it listed it as one of its top movies. I thought it was really interesting.

I haven't watched that movie yet but its on my netflix movie to.

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