In the words of Roger Ebert: “You cannot know the history of silent film unless you know the face of Renee Maria Falconetti.” One of the unassailable classics of montage filmmaking, The Passion of Joan of Arc is dominated by the ecstatic face of Falconetti, frequently shot in searing low-angle close-ups, as she faces her vicious interrogators. Ironically, master filmmaker Dreyer staged his intimate compositions within a gigantic re-creation of the city of Rouen, stylized in the manner of medieval illuminations. After delivering one of the screen’s greatest performances, Falconetti would never make another film. The film itself was rescued from the scrapheap of history, when an intact original version was discovered in a Norwegian mental institution in 1981. This new version features composer Richard Einhorn’s acclaimed “Voices of Light,” a choral and orchestral work inspired by the film and performed by vocal ensemble, Anonymous 4.
Director Carl Theodor Dreyer | 1928 | Silent with synchronized soundtrack | 82 minutes | NR | DCP