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—— Innocence Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
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Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (Trial of Joan of Arc) Reviews

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familiar s

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2012
I didn't know a word about this case before plunging onto this movie. As against my expectations, my ignorance didn't turn out to be in the favor of movie. It assumes that we have the background knowledge and focuses only on trial. Maybe people in general have enough historical knowledge, but unfortunately I'm an exceptional case. I thought that the movie would be interesting as it's based on the transcripts of the case, but except for a few dialogues, it was quiet boring. Even 65 minutes seemed too long to sit through. I appreciate the director's intentions, but not much the film. Needless to say, it serves as an informative piece of work to an extent, but not entertainment.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

March 16, 2011
This Robert Bresson film is reportedly taken from the transcripts from the Joan of Arc's trial. And it's a well-done film that suffers from one major flaw -- I saw Karl Dreyer's version of Joan's story PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC first. Florence Carrez portrays Joan with stoic determination. She knows she's right and no one will change her mind. Because of this portrayal, the scene where Joan signs the confession riings a bit false. On the other hand, Renee Maria Falconetti's portrayal is of a terrified 19-year-old girl, being held in prison for her beliefs that seem so right and true to her, and totally unable to comprehend how and why she is being portrayed as evil, when everything she does is for God and her country. Her performance is heartbreaking. Carrez' in-your-face attitude is probably more historically accurate -- Joan WAS a warrior after all -- but I like Falconetti better. And I just like Dreyer better as a director than Bresson. Bresson's direction is spare and minimalist, and it leaves me a bit cold. Dreyer's work never fails to move me, especially in the way he gets such real emotion out of his actors. I'll admit to being brought to tears by more than one of his films.

Bresson claims that he made his Joan more of a modern 1960's woman so younger people would identify with her, He gave her a somewhat modern hairstyle and wardrobe. Once again, I prefer Dreyer's Joan, who was even stripped of her hair for the role. One good thing about seeing both films is that I now have a bigger picture of what Joan went through during her trial. Dreyer also used the original transcripts, and the dialogue reflects that, matching word for word in several places. But in many cases they concentrated on different sections of the transcriptions, so seeing Bresson's film filled in the gaps from the Dreyer film.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2008
At just 60 odd minutes the premise of this film doesn't push itself. Yes it is mostly people sitting round and talking but the sublime craft rises it to fantastic heights. A certain amount of emotionless performances make this blunt and to the point. It's a real dissection of Joan herself. Unfortunately this is no Passion of Joan of Arc but it is still a brilliant piece of cinema.
martinkalwill
December 20, 2007
This masterpiece is based on the documents from the real proces (trial). Is the most relevant political statetment abut the church and the "modern middle age" ever done on film
April 27, 2013
In my opinion it is one of Bresson's weakest works.
K L
July 16, 2012
My least favorite Bresson film. Bresson's simplicity has always been his greatness and power, but this film, stripped of every feature and advantage of cinema to its very literary core, which is what Bresson is always against, is slightly more than what the trial would actually look like had it been filmed.
April 21, 2012
Marvellous stuff - demonstrates the sant's spiritual conviction quietly (the performance from Florence Delay is astounding as Joan of Arc).
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