Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Passion of Joan of Arc (The Criterion Collection)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (French: La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc) is a silent film produced in France in 1928. It is based on the record of the trial of Joan of Arc. The film was directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and stars Renée Jeanne Falconetti. It is widely regarded as a landmark of cinema, especially for its production, its direction and Falconetti's performance, which has been described as being among the finest in cinema history.
The film summarizes the time that Joan of Arc was a captive of the English. It depicts her trial, imprisonment, torture, and execution.

Maria Falconetti as Jeanne d'Arc
Eugène Silvain as Évêque Pierre Cauchon
André Berley as Jean d'Estivet
Maurice Schutz as Nicolas Loyseleur
Antonin Artaud as Jean Massieu
Gilbert Dalleu as Jean Lemaître
Jean d'Yd as Nicolas de Houppeville
Louis Ravet as Jean Beaupère (as Ravet)
Michel Simon as Judge

The original version of the film was lost for decades after a fire destroyed the master negative. Dreyer himself attempted to reassemble a version from outtakes and surviving prints, but he died believing his original cut was lost forever. In one of the most important discoveries in cinema history, a virtually complete print of Dreyer's original version was found in 1981 in a janitor's closet of an Oslo mental institution. This version is now available on DVD.

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