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Could someone pls post a review of PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC CRITERION?

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Could someone pls post a review of PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC CRITERION?

Old 03-28-00, 09:18 AM
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Old 03-28-00, 10:14 AM
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It's one of the best silents ever made and the new musical score is fabulous. The music really adds more to the visuals.
The story is more about Joan's last few days before her death - the trials, torture and inquisition. As for extras there's only a commentary and nothing else.
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Old 03-28-00, 09:45 PM
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I must agree. The score is *great*. I'm not a big fan of silent film and although I don't consider this film "great" I'll probably get it sometime b/c the commentary seemed informative and the music just plain astounds me

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Old 03-29-00, 09:21 AM
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Speaking of musical score, another feature on the DVD is to turn the accompaniment off in order to view the film as Dreyer intended--unadorned (hence, the "no cosmetic use" by the actors on the film). Carl-Theodor Dreyer is a highly experimental director, and The Passion of Joan of Arc is no exception. His use of fragmented space and extreme close-ups are intended to reflect the paranoid scrutiny and suffocating atmosphere of the trial.

As for the transfer, some of the reels are immaculately restored, some (like the prison cell scene) have a few areas of debris, which is understandable considering the film's history. The DVD also contains an interview with Falconetti's daughter, who provides some insight into the filming of the movie. The film is a good introduction to Dreyer, although it is only one of several Dreyer masterpieces, and, by no means, does it define his body of work. I would give that distinction to Ordet or Gertrud, but neither are available on DVD (they are, however, available from Home Vision Cinema in very good transfers).

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Old 03-29-00, 11:14 AM
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I agree with much stated above. The restoration comparison was fantastic--it really makes you appreciate what was done to preserve the film. You can watch the film silent, with the 5.1 musical track(which is mighty impressive), and I think there is also a commentary/essay, although I could be mistaken. I also watched the libretto video documentary, as well as much of the other supplimental material, and I would recommend it.

When I finished watching the film, I thought,"wow, all movies should be treated this way!"

Hope this helps--


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Old 03-30-00, 11:09 PM
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This is a stellar release from Criterion. Considering how old the film is and that this only surviving original print was stored closet of a Norwegian insane asylum, it looks remarkable. None of Dreyer's closeups have lost their power. The commentary and restoration demonstration are terrific. The optional 5.1 choral soundtrack sounds excellent and really adds to the power of the film. I would put this in the top 5 Criterions released on DVD. Good luck!

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Old 03-31-00, 04:51 PM
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Title: The Passion of Joan of Arc: Criterion Edition
Movie Rating: 4.5
Picture rating: 4 (excellent condition considering the film is 70 years old)
Sound Rating: 4
Extra's: 5
Repeat Viewing: 3.5

Advice: Collector's Series
Worth: $15

The Movie:

Maria Falconetti portrays Joan of Arc in this 1928 classic. Her role is wonderfully done and perhaps the best portrayal of the 19 year old saint ever put on film. Her facial expressions at time make you feel that Joan is passionately "possessed" with the spirit of God, and at other times the viewer can see that she is on the brink on sanity.

The movie itself takes place in the 15th century after Joan has already been captured. This movie was described by Carl Th. Dreyer himself as a sort of "documentary" as it is based solely on the minutes that were taken at the actual trial of Joan. For the most part the dialogue (French intertitles with English sub-titles) is word for word from the minutes of the trial.

In 93 minutes, the viewer is taken from Joan's initial interrogation to the finale when she is burned at the stake. In the time between, we are shown more about Joan through Falconetti's facial expressions than through the actual intertitles. The symbolism is rich, powerful and moving, and the story is sad and thought provoking.

The DVD:

Video: The transfer of this film is remarkable considering the source. The film itself was thought to be lost to fire but was found (as per Criterion's info) in near perfect condition in 1986. Compared to other versions on video tape that transferred at the rate of 16 frames per second, Criterion's 24 fps seems to be appropriate.

Sound: At the menu, you are given 3 viewing options: Silent Movie, Movie with Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light" musical score, or movie with commentary. So, obviously, the former does not apply here but the latter two do. The musical score is phenomenal and is a excellent compliment to the movie. The music is in context nearly throughout the film.

Menus: As always Criterion makes navigation easy through the menus and sub menus.

Extra's: In addition to the musical score mentioned above, there is an audio interview with the daughter of Marie Falconetti, an excellent commentary by Casper Tybjerg, a scholar on Deyer, film restoration demonstrations, interactive essays on the life of the saint, and a history of the films various versions.
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Old 04-01-00, 01:28 PM
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Most powerful film I've ever seen! Perfect 10s across the board.

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