Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lost and Found: The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Story
In 1928, Carl Theodore Dreyer made this film about the life of the French war hero.  For all you non-film snobs, Dreyer's most famous work is Vampyr, an eerie dream-like film.  This film, however, is staged like a passion play (hence the title).  The film is famous for its camera work and focus on close-ups, allowing for true emotions to show.  The performance by the lead is considered by many to be one of the best ever put on film.  Sadly, the master negative of the film was destroyed in a fire and lost for decades.
Was It Discovered?
Yes, but you'll never guess where.  In what's described as one of the most important discoveries in film history, a copy was discovered in 1981.  Don't ask me how it got there, but a virtually-complete print was found in the janitor's closet at a mental institution in Oslo.  What?!?  I know I shouldn't care how it got there, but what the hell?!?  Oh well.
The film is considered to be a pinnacle of directing, acting and camera work.  As I said before, some consider the lead actresses' performance to be one of the best ever.  It's a good thing that the film has been preserved for another generation.  Have I seen it?  No.  I'm sure it's good though...for people that watch those kind of movies all the time.
Up next, a John Cassavetes films ends up in the Subway.  How did it come to this?  Stay tuned...


  1. I have never heard this story but that is f'in awesome, I will be sure to seek it out yo, I actually just bought VAMPYR and plan on watching that shortly as well!

  2. Honestly, I found 'Vampyr' to be pretty dull, but that's just me. A second viewing would probably be different though.

    There is one moment towards the middle that is really great. I actually plan on covering it for a future segment. Yes, I have another one on the way.