A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of ... See full summary »
In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from ... See full summary »
Francis L. Sullivan
During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist ... See full summary »
A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of the English, filmed in a spare, low-key fashion. Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although the story takes place in 1431, Jeanne's hairstyle is strictly a popular mode of the early 1960s. This is not a "goof" but an intention on the director's part to help young people identify with the character. See more »
A minor work from a sleeping giant which oozes quality and demands respect.
To appreciate this film you have to be a supporter of the 'Less is More' school of thought. Bresson presents the viewer with a stark, simple story, employing virtually no cinema devices at all - whilst 'Trial of Joan of Arc' isn't one of his best known efforts, it bears all the hallmarks of being touched by genius.
With a running time of just over an hour, the film covers the trial of the famous French heroine, the script solely based on the historical notes from the trial itself. As usual with Bresson, the cast is made up of non-actors who prove that simple delivery of potent narrative is more than convincing.
The actress who plays Joan, Florence Delay, is superb and stunningly attractive - on watching the film I assumed she was a major star of 1960's French cinema, rather than an unknown in her first ( and last?? ) role. The film concentrates so much on her character that she has to be convincing - every word she delivers has an edge to it and you can truly believe that here was a teenage girl who had an inner strength which entire armies would follow.
Everything which is good in foreign films is encapsulated here - the simple approach, the dialogue, the static camera and the realism which combine together as a piece of cinematic art. Bresson's next film was the highly praised 'Au Hasard Balthazar'(1966), which continued the themes of quiet dignity and immense power within a basic framework.
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