With its stunning camerawork and striking compositions, Carl Th. Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc
convinced the world that movies could be art. Renée Falconetti gives one of the greatest performances ever recorded on film, as the young maiden who died for God and France. Long thought to have been lost to fire, the original version was miraculously found in perfect condition in 1981-in a Norwegian mental institution. Criterion is proud to present this milestone of silent cinema in a new special edition featuring composer Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, an original opera/oratorio inspired by the film.
Criterion's release of Carl Dreyer's landmark film The Passion of Joan of Arc
is a definitive example of DVD restoration. Initially believed to be lost forever in a fire, this transfer was created at 24 frames per second from a negative of the rediscovered original version. For a film released in 1928, The Passion of Joan of Arc
looks absolutely remarkable. As with most silent films, Dreyer's Joan
was originally presented to audiences with different pieces of music. Criterion has chosen composer Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light
for this edition. Inspired by the film, Einhorn's piece, presented in 5.1 surround sound, is a wonderful compliment to Dreyer's visual presentation. Notable extras include a history of the film's many versions and an audio interview with Renee Falconetti's daughter. However, by far the best "extra" is Dreyer scholar Casper Tybjerg's incredible commentary that informatively combines rich details of the film's importance and content with known historical elements of St. Joan's life, trial and death. --Rob Bracco