The Passion of Joan of Arc – 1928 – dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer
My freshman Film History course’s screening of Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc has to be one of the more interesting film screenings I’ve attended. There was the matter of the film itself, an experiment in stylistic minimalism that achieves emotional maximalism. There’s the matter of how it was presented, with the score on mute. My professor’s feelings about the film was that it was so intense on its own that any attempt to match the emotions with musical accompaniment would turn to cheese, and I’m inclined to agree with him (it’s surreal how a film consisting mostly of people talking would be so effective as a silent). What made the screening stand out in particular, however, was my classmate’s reactions afterwards.