The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928): Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm
This is something pretty special: Carl Theodor Dreyer's masterpiece; Portishead's Adrian Utley; Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and music maestro Charles Hazlewood. All in one room. At the same time.
The Passion of Joan of Arc is not just one of the great works of silent cinema, it is one of the great works of cinema. In 2002 Dreyer's film was voted No14 in Sight & Sound magazine's famous poll of the best films of all time.
Here is Jonathan Rosenbaum's review from Chicago Reader:
Carl Dreyer's last silent, the greatest of all Joan of Arc films. (Lost for half a century, the 1928 original was rediscovered in a Norwegian mental asylum in the 80s; other prints had perished in a warehouse fire, and the two versions subsequently circulated consisted of outtakes.) Joan is played by stage actress Renee Falconetti, and though hers is one of the key performances in the history of movies, she never made another film. (Antonin Artaud also appears in a memorable cameo.) Dreyer's radical approach to constructing space and the slow intensity of his mobile style make this “difficult” in the sense that, like all the greatest films, it reinvents the world from the ground up. It's also painful in a way that all Dreyer's tragedies are, but it will continue to live long after most commercial movies have vanished from memory. In French with subtitles. 114 min.
For tonight's screening Utley and Gregory have created a new score and will perform it live alongside a screening of the film, joined by conductor Hazlewood and members of the Monteverdi Choir.
Here is the Silent London blog preview of the evening.
Here are Gregory and Utley talking about their collaboration.
Here is a trailer.