With almost every camera mounted on tracks, topsy-turvy pans that glide like guillotine blades, and a montage accelerated by a spinning torture wheel, Dreyer’s arsenal of visual abstractions . . . in large part places the movie on a continuum with Léger and Murphy’s landmark film, with Kirsanoff’s Ménilmontant (1926), and with the early masterpieces by Jean Epstein and Sergei Eisenstein. The Passion of Joan of Arc is, finally, a storm, an ordeal that relentlessly tests a martyr’s devotion.
Jaime N. Christley
November 22, 2017