Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sometimes there just isn't anything to say and THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (62)

I've been back from SF for one day and in that time I've sat in front of a multitude of computers, scrambling to put together a magazine. Aside from that I've done almost nothing of interest. Beers have been consumed, enchiladas devoured, bits and pieces of movies about fanatical French lesbians have been viewed. But in truth, I've done nothing that warrants the opening slot on this here website.

As per usual, I'm unable to not write anything in this opening slot though, so you've been subjected to a bland retelling of a fairly mundane 24 hours of my life. I have a pile of "sucker" name tags in the corner, if you'd just put one on ... yeah, that looks great.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (62) has an amazing back story. For years and years and years no
body could find a complete print of Carl Th. Dreyer's supposed masterpiece. There was scraps and reels that had been pieced together, but strangely the original copy, the full goddamn ball of wax was lost to the world ... until 1981, when the film was found in a janitorial closet in a mental institution in Oslo, Norway. A JANITOR'S CLOSET! That's absolutely amazing. Why was this landmark of cinema, lost to the ages, just sitting between buckets and brooms in a loony bin in Norway? No one knows, and sadly, no one ever will as Carl Th. Dreyer died almost fifty years before it's discovery.

That said, this film could be called "The Passion of Renee Falconetti's Face" as with out the tight close-ups of her boyish mug, this film would be six minutes long. I'm actually really enjoying this film, there's a real sense of foreboding religious oppression in the film that Dreyer manages to evoke through the wonderfully characteristic faces of the clergy. I don't know what happened to Ms. Falconetti after this picture, but I hope it was something amazing, as her portrayal of a 19-year old, tom boy, religious warrior is pretty brilliant. There is a wide-eyed, vacant stare Ms. Falconetti is able to pull out at any moment that often times has me wondering whether or not they just wrenched the actress from Senior Lunch at Ye Olde Nut House. Aside from that the woman can cry seemingly at the drop of a hat. This movie is called The Passion of Joan of Arc (62) and lord almighty is there a lot of tearful passion in the film. Every scene is pretty much a barrage of questions aimed at Joan of Arc that end up with her stoically sobbing in front of the camera. And you know, I think most people, with any love of old cinema, would actually enjoy this film. I'm shocked that I do.

I'm 22-minutes from Joan's eventual burning at the stake, so, if things go right, we should be able to wrap this up tomorrow.

Thursday: The Passion of Joan of Arc (62)

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