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Archive for October 28th, 2009

jeanne la pucelle 1

(France 1994 336m) DVD2 (DVD1 only 228m)

Aka. Joan the Maid: Parts I & II (The Battles & The Prisons); Joan of Arc

I am sent by God

p  Pierre Grise  d  Jacques Rivette  w  Christine Laurent, Pascal Bonitzer  ph  William Lubtchansky  ed  Nicole Lubtchansky  m  Jordi Savali  art  Mau de Chauvigny

Sandrine Bonnaire (Jeanne la Pucelle), André Marcon (Dauphin), Jean-Louis Richard (La Trémoille), Patrick le Mauff (Jean, the Bastard of Orléans), Jean-Pierre Becker (Jean d’Aulon), Mathieu Busson (Louis de Coutes), Florence Darel (Jeanne d’Orléans),

Despite the transcendental experience of Dreyer’s La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, it never deterred other film-makers from telling the Maid of Orleans’ story.  Bresson was very much in awe of Dreyer when he made his film, and strangely, though the subject may seem to have been right up his street, his La Procès de Jeanne d’Arc was not one of his best efforts.  What’s ironic is that Jacques Rivette’s epic 5½ hour version (and it was only shown in the UK and US at the time at 4 hours) owes a lot more to Bresson than to Dreyer; the irony being that it’s not to Bresson’s Jeanne film, but rather to his later Lancelot du Lac.  Just as Bresson’s Lancelot overturned the conventional opulence of Camelot for a more Spartan, pure version of the Arthurian legend, so Rivette reduces the story of Joan of Arc to its bare essentials.  In doing so, he stretches it to what, to some, may be inordinate length, but which, in its own way, is mesmerising from the first frame to the final intensely moving fadeout.  (more…)

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