Facets and the Chicago Opera Theater announced today that they will present a screening of Carl Theodor Dreyer's film "The Passion of Joan of Arc." The newly restored film will screen at Facets Multi-Media in Chicago at noon on September 8.
"The Passion of Joan of Arc" explores the trial of Joan of Arc(or in French, Jeanne d'Arc), and the time leading up to her execution on charges of heresy. The British Film Institute named it one of the top ten greatest films of all time in 2012, a list compiled by decennial poll for the Institute's Sight & Sound magazine. Late film critic Roger Ebert said of Renee Maria Falconetti, the film's lead:
"In a medium without words, where the filmmakers believed that the camera captured the essence of characters through their faces, to see Falconetti in Dreyer's 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' is to look into eyes that will never leave you."
The film existed only in altered versions since the original master negatives were destroyed in a fire. After being lost for nearly fifty years, a cut of the original film was found in a Norwegian mental institution in 1981. The original silent film will be accompanied by Richard Einhorn's inspired oratorio Voices of Light. Coincidentally, this is the same accompaniment used on Criterion's release of the film, though it was not clear whether that DVD edition would be utilized during the screening.
Excerpts from Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco will be performed live after the film as part of the Chicago Opera Theater(COT)'s contribution to the event. Andreas Mitisek, the COT General Director, will lead a discussion following the presentation. Tickets can be purchased online now, and promo code "JOANCOT" can be used at the checkout for a discount. General admission is $9, and Facets Members and COT Subscribers can purchase tickets for $5.
Facets is a non-profit organization focusing on educating children and adults about film. Facets Multi-Media is located at 1517 West Fullerton in Chicago.