Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (Trial of Joan of Arc) Reviews
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.
Robert Bresson only made a small amount of films but all of them worth watching. Others I have seen and loved are Diary Of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, Au Hasard Balthazar, Mouchette, and L'Argent. He was a phenomenal and a truly unique artist. 9/10
Almost like a remake of the 1928 version (just not expressionist and scary as all hell), The Trial of Joan of Arc uses dialogue from the records of the real trial. It's interesting to hear words from the real Joan in a movie, and it's dialogue definitely is thurough. But I've got a few problems. We already have a movie about Joan's trial. Though this one may be more accurate, the movie could have tried to be more entertaining. Running just over an hour, this movie had lots of time to go into the politics of the times, or focus in on other characters, or focus on Joan in the slightest. The actors literally show only one emotional characteristic through the whole movie, adding very little to the delivery of their lines besides straight forward conversations that go back and forth without a pause or a sign of trying to play with their characters.
Robert Bresson has a lot of stalk about himself as a man who refuses to do movies unless he can make them look like pieces of art than a piece of cinema. You'ld think a comment like that would mean this movie would be a visual feast for the eyes like no other. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. Though this movie tries to be accurate, it looks very dull. The trial scenes only have 3 different camera positions. And I mean the WHOLE trial. One angle of Joan, the other and Cauchon, and an another at another member of the court. This repetitive perspective becomes apparent that this movie is less of a work of art and more like bad directing. Sets and art direction look dark and accurate, even if you don't see the entire room or where exactly the characters are in the scene. Lighting is impressive. There are some scenes with a sort of voyeur-esque perspective of people looking at Joan through a hole in the prison wall, but that's nothing that Alfred Hitchcock hadn't already perfected. But what I do like is the detail of the Jurors talking to Joan in French then revert to English when talking to eachother.
This movie does try to obtain a look and a style. It's just to bad that this movie is incredably dull and boring, from the acting to the directing. This movie isn't an influential telling of Joan of Arc, nor an example of good filmmaking or storytelling.