Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 326: Sun Nov 22

Day of Wrath (Dreyer, 1943): Close-Up Cinema, 8pm

This 35mm screening is part of a 'Superstition, Witchcraft, Body Without Organs and Occult' season  at Close-Up Cinema. The film is also being shown on 18th November. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Carl Dreyer made this extraordinary 1943 drama, about the church's persecution of women for witchcraft in the 17th century, during the German occupation of Denmark. He later claimed that he hadn't sought to pursue any contemporary parallels while adapting the play Anne Petersdotter (which concerns adultery as well as witchcraft), but that seems disingenuous - Day of Wrath may be the greatest film ever made about living under totalitarian rule. Astonishing in its artistically informed period re-creation as well as its hypnotic mise en scene (with some exceptionally eerie camera movements), it challenges the viewer by suggesting at times that witchcraft isn't so much an illusion as an activity produced by intolerance. And like Dreyer's other major films, it's sensual to the point of carnality. I can't think of another 40s film that's less dated. In Danish with subtitles.
Jonathan Rosenbaum 

Here (and above) is the opening to the film.

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