Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Passion of Joan Of Arc - 1928 - Dir. Dreyer

It's a big famous movie, ya know? They never showed it to me in college but they sure did talk about it a lot. I remember seeing a clip and have been able to recognize Maria Falconetti's famously sour puss since then. I mean, the movie is all about faces, BIG EMOTIONAL FACES. Dreyer uses close-ups for a good percentage of the film, and man, does he know how to work them. A silent film with little dialogue, we're left with these faces, and hell, I was transfixed. Even the set is fairly sparse, most shots end up being a character's face on white. When an object is in the frame, it's placed with visible care. I could watch Falconetti emote for a full two hours and have NO issues with that. NONE AT ALL. Her disintegration is beautiful to watch. And her freakishly glassy eyes were mesmerizing. Dreyer actually throws a lot of bitchin' camera work our way as well. A lot of nice push-ins. Since it was the heyday of cinema, the acting is theatrical, but I dunno, it fits in so well with the rest of piece. The somewhat nameless and VERY repulsive cast of judges and theologians play the role of AWFUL FUCKING FUCKS to a T. I mean, if watching faces emote REALLY WELL sounds like a thing you might enjoy, go ahead! Also Artaud was in it. What the fuck is he doing there in the 15th Century?!

Joan of Arc's famously unsuccessful impersonation of the Burger King.

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