(Review originally written at 20 November 2007)

When you think of a Jeanne d'Arc movie, you don't expect to see a movie based purely- and focusing just on the trial of Jeanne d'Arc. considering the entire life-story of Jeanne d'Arc, it just doesn't seem like the most likely and interesting thing to focus on. It however of course works well for a more deep, serious and realistic approach and or course also in an original way of retelling the story of Jeanne d'Arc. So don't expect to see a strong heroic female lead but a betrayed, broken, emotional one instead.

On top of that, it's a very artistic shot movie, which helps to at all times keep the movie interesting and great to watch.

I'd say that about 70% of the entire movie consist out of close-ups. The faces and facial expressions really tell the story of the movie. The movie was also originally intended to be released without any music, to even more empathize on the faces.

All of the original shots of the movie were considered destroyed and lost forever before release, which forced the director to completely re-make the movie through re-edits of previously rejected shots. But also this versions got soon destroyed by fire. Therefor this movie was long considered a completely lost one, until an original Danish copy of the movie was found again in 1981, in perfect condition, in out of all places, the closet of the janitor in mental institution in Oslo. How weird is that? Stories like this of course also contribute to the movie its legacy.

By todays standards all of the acting performances within the movie can be described as over-the-top. This sort of acting approach was of course however needed in the silent movie era, to make clear to the viewer what the story and the emotions within the story were.

I won't go as far as calling this one of the best silent movie out of history, but it's definitely among the artistic most successful ones!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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