Voices of Light – The Passion of Joan of Arc, opens (S8) 9ª Mostra de Cinema Periférico

Joan of Arc’s tremulous, judged and condemned face (the only appearance of the actress Renée María Falconetti in movies) in The Passion of Joan de Arc is perhaps one of the most magnetic and iconic images in the history of cinema. In the year 1928, Dreyer premiered a pure and decesive movie whose refined visual language has meant the most absolute modernity. Composed of close-ups and extreme close-ups, unusual framings, almost schematic film sets and crystal clarity (photograph by Rudolph Maté), the movie relies on the power of editing and gesture (without makeup, breaking with the tendency of the time) to tell the story of the young French Catholic woman who in the fifteenth century was accused of heresy, judged and executed. Dreyer relied on the transcripts of the trial for his film, which is played by Antonin Artaud in the role of Dean of Rouen, one of the inquisitors of the saint. Considered today a masterpiece of cinema, it was also the first great work of the Danish Carl Theodor Dreyer, which would be followed by others such as Vampyr, Ordet or Gertrud, in which the conflict between flesh and spirit is also present.

Image: Carl Theodor Dreyer

Despite its indisputable condition as a film masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc was shown incomplete until 1981 because of a series of bizarre vicissitudes. After its premiere in April 1928 in Copenhague, the film’s release was delayed in France, where the archbishop of Paris demanded numerous censorship cuts. Shortly after, the laboratory where the original negative of the film had been deposited burned. After this Dreyer took advantage of the cinematic discards to reconstruct the original editing from shot to shot. This negative also burned and the film disappeared until 1951, when this second version was found by the historian Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. Lo Duca modified the print, added subtitles instead of intertitles, and replaced some of these with text on stained glass. This was the most widespread version of the film (the one Anna Karina sees in Vivre sa vie). It was not until 1981, when after doing a cleaning in a closet of a mental institution in Denmark there appeared a few cans of film that turned out to be the original version of Dreyer’s editing released in April 1928. In 2015 Gaumont scanned that negative and created a DCP that has facilitated the film exhibition in optimal conditions until then had been rarely shown in all its splendor on account of the few existing 35mm screening copies.

Imagen: The Passion of Joan of Arc

Unlike many films of the time, The passion of Joan of Arc was not released with a score of predefined music, a lack that many musicians have corrected over time. On this occasion there was chosen the brilliant Voices of Light, by the prestigious American composer Richard Einhorn: a score for choir and orchestra in which visions, fantasies and reflections from various sources are interwoven, especially from medieval mystical female texts that draw the spiritual climate in which Joan of Arc was conceived. Overwhelming and elegant music, rich in textures and melodic and emotional nuances, which comes together under equal conditions with Dreyer’s work. On this occasion, the Einhorn’s score will be performed by the Gaos Choir and Orchestra, a project whose name pays homage to the composer from Coruña who emigrated to Argentina, Andrés Gaos, a musical group that has welcomed the young Galician musical talent since 2009.

Image: Gaos Orchestra

Inaguration Gala
(S8) IX Mostra de Cinema Periférico



Music: Richard Einhorn
Film: Carl Theodor Dreyer (1928)
Restored Version

Orchestra and Choir Gaos
Director Fernando Briones

Dates: May 25th 2018. 20:30h.
Teatro Colón. A Coruña

Through Online Ticket Service Ataquilla.com, 24 hours a day, at 902 504 500 from 8 to 22h Monday to Saturday, until 24h before each show.

Tickets can also be purchased at:

Sede Afundación de A Coruña, located at Cantón Grande 8 Monday to Saturday  (festivities included) from 9.00 to 21.00  h
Sede Afundación Santiago de Compostela, located at Rúa do Vilar 19
Sede Afundación Vigo, located at Policarpo Sanz 26
Sala de Exposicións Sede Afundación de Ourense, located at Playa Mayor 4

And also at Teatro Colón box office, from Monday to Sunday (please check open hours  in their web): http://www.teatrocolon.es/entradas).

Further information: www.s8cinema.com