Close Up

5 - 19 May 2018: Take Two: The Passion of Joan of Arc / Vivre sa vie


The Passion of Joan of Arc
Carl Theodor Dreyer
1928 | 100 min | B/W | Digital
Silent. Danish intertitles with English subtitles

“The close-up of the tear-stained face of Marie Falconetti in Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc is one of the most famous images in all of cinema. Based on authentic records of the eighteen-month-long trial of the fifteenth-century warrior-saint in Orléans, the film brings a rigorous formal style, exquisite cinematography, and striking architectural sets to bear on the moral questions that surround Joan, her judges, and her ultimate fate. Falconetti had never appeared in films before and would never act again, but her performance here is ranked among the greatest creations of cinema.” – Harvard Film Archive

Vivre sa vie
Jean-Luc Godard
1962 | 82 min | B/W | Digital
French with English subtitles

“The fall, brief rise, and death of a Joan of Sartre, a prostitute determined to be her own woman. The format is a condensed Dreiserian novel: Twelve near-uniform segments with chapter headings, the visual matter used to illustrate the captions and narrator’s comments. This is an extreme documentary, the most biting of his films, with sharp and drastic breaks in the continuity, grim but highly sensitive newsreel photography, a soundtrack taped in real bars and hotels as the film was shot and then left untouched. The unobtrusive acting inches along in little, scuttling steps, always in one direction, achieving a parched, memory-ridden beauty. A film of extraordinary purity.” – Manny Farber

Part of our season on Jean-Luc Godard