I am struggling to put into words the impact this film has had on me. Since I saw it 24 hours ago I haven’t been able to get the image of Renée Falconetti’s Jeanne out of my mind. It’s haunting. This is due in equal parts to the raw emotion Falconetti displays and the use of the extreme close up, employed throughout.
And then there’s the score. I’ve read that Dreyer intended the film to be viewed in total silence. I can see how this could add to the power and claustrophobia of the visuals. However, for me the music heightened the emotions I was witnessing on the screen and elicited an almost physical response.
I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced this masterpiece on the big screen. It was a one-off screening at the Tyneside Cinema as part of the Divine Bodies exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery.