THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (1928)
Dreyer’s masterpiece is compellingly manipulative and devastating.
Here is the first silent film to be included in my roundup of movies to see before you die, and if this one doesn’t leave you wrung out like a sponge that’s been soaked in emotional overload, then you may have already bought the farm anyway. You have no doubt encountered some of the other, more sweeping versions of Joan of Arc’s battlefield exploits, and may well be disappointed to discover that this post will not be addressing Luc Besson’s epic The Messenger starring the delightful Milla Jovovich. Granted, seeing the star of the Resident Evil franchise in full body armor has its appeal, but the territory we shall be visiting here goes a little deeper. Simply put, Carl Theodore Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc puts the human soul, naked, frightened and indestructible, onto 82 minutes of panchromatic film.
Came across this CBS Radio newscast from 1979 and entered a rather mind-blowing time-warp in which they might just as well have been reporting headlines from 2011. The first story is chilling enough in light of recent events, but It’s the second story that really hits you in the gut. The whole thing is only about two minutes, but if you would like the rare opportunity to enter the Twilight Zone in your everyday life, you should experience this.