La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc / The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Starring: Renée Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Antonin Artaud, Louis Ravet, Maurice Shutz, Andre Burley

Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer

UR. 87 mins

The crowning jewel of silent cinema, The Passion of Joan of Arc is truly the face of an era. The film documents the trial and execution of the passionate believer and heroine of France. Dreyer’s groundbreaking use of closeups make the viewer uncomfortably close to Joan’s experience and while we cannot fully grasp her spiritual experience, we can bear witness to her character through Falconetti’s astounding performance. In her one and only role on the silver screen, Falconetti uses her expressive face to convey a strong voice that rings louder than the silence of the film. The Passion of Joan of Arc is unusually mesmerizing and a true masterpiece thanks to Dreyer’s innovative techniques, which would go on to shape modern cinema as we know it. If you only ever watch one silent film in your lifetime, make it this one – * * * *

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