Thursday, May 6, 2010

30 Second Review: Jeanne d'Arc

Date 1899      Category Historical Epic

The Story
C’mon, you know... it’s Joan of Arc.

The Verdict
Transition ’tween stage and screen. Ten minutes’ lean.

Best Scene
In this sequence of about two minutes, French soldiers storm a castle, which is presented as a backdrop against the fixed camera. There is fencing (that is, a fence) in the foreground. Joan appears first, on horseback. She is huge before the camera (especially by the standards of this film) and then we see the castle gate open. Burgundian soldiers spill from inside, drag Joan off her horse and into the castle. Now the French arrive, frantic, spilling into the frame from either side. They, too, are close to the camera—at a proximity no stage show could provide us—and so we are pulled into the scene as they tear down the fencing and, through a bit of falsified perspective in the form of a second stage level, appear to charge into the distance and scale the walls. A smoke-filled battle ensues.

For the full-length Silent Volume article, click HERE.

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