THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC with Live Score Accompaniment
Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer | Run time: French, 1926, 81 mins | Rating: NR
Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy are brought to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent achievements of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the final hours leading up to her execution, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy, employing an array of techniques—including expressionistic lighting, interconnected sets, and painfully intimate close-ups— to immerse viewers in her subjective experience. Anchoring Dreyer’s audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom. Thought to have been lost to fire, the film’s original version was miraculously found in perfect condition in 1981 in a Norwegian mental institution, heightening the mythic status of this widely revered masterwork.
Roger Ebert once said about the film : “In a medium without words, where the filmmakers believed that the camera captured the essence of characters through their faces, to see Falconetti in Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) is to look into eyes that will never leave you.”
New Restoration with live score composed and performed by indie electronic artist George Sarah with String Quartet and featuring the Verdigris Ensemble.