French cinema master Robert Bresson brings his trademark cinematic minimalism to this powerful re-telling of the story of Joan of Arc.
Adapted from historical records of the trial and featuring a remarkable cast of non-professional actors, led by Florence Carrez in the title role, the film relays Joan’s relentless interrogation and persecution by her captors in a direct, almost documentary-like manner.
Bresson transforms Joan’s oppression and human suffering into an unforgettabe testament to her purity and spiritual liberation. The final images of the charred remains of the stake are among the most horrifying and moving in all cinema.
Often described as a “painter” of films, French director Robert Bresson was one of cinema’s greatest anomalies. He directed only 13 films over the course of 40 years, but these films were in a category all their own, minimalist works that tended towards radical (and sometimes controversial) reinterpretations of such classical sources as Diderot, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy. An expert manipulator of narrative incident, Bresson focused on seemingly incidental details of the stories he told and used amateur actors (whom he called ‘models’) lacking any trace of theatricality, creating searching meditations on the quality of transcendence, spirituality, and alienation. Of the artistic influences inherent in his work – perhaps most apparent in his belief that the cinema is a fusion of music and painting, not the theatre and photography – Bresson once said “Art is not a luxury, but a vital necessity.”
The year of Bresson’s birth has often been subject to debate; his biographer, Philippe… read more
Critical of Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc, Bresson made his own version of the trial of the Maid of Orleans. Whereas Dreyer had the expressive face and haunting eyes of Falconetti to portray Joan, Bresson typically cast a non-professional. Both films are based on real court transcripts and are remarkable works. I have a slight preference for Dreyer's version but Bresson's stark imagery leaves a big impression..
The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962), with its few settings, minimal action, and plenty of dialogue, reads more like a play than a film. Still, it retains Bresson’s particular formal style; in many ways, the extreme minimalism makes one more acutely aware of Bresson’s filmic tendencies. Read More: http://aestheticsofthemind.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/the-trial-of-joan-of-arc-proces-de-jeanne-darc/
As the NYFF celebrates its 50th year, a look at the posters from the films that made up its first incarnation in 1963.
A look at the second, revised edition of James Quandt’s crucial anthology, Robert Bresson.
The complete retrospective will carry on touring North America through May.
Introducing a new series of essays on the “tightly-packed excess” of Robert Bresson.
A look at the best posters for the films of Robert Bresson, to coincide with the Film Forum retrospective.
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