One of the most elemental and stunning silent films in world cinema, Dreyer’s examination of the trial of Joan of Arc remains as intense and affecting as it was 90 years ago. Legendary French stage actress Reneé Jeanne Falconetti delivers one of cinema’s greatest performances as Joan, the 19-year-old burned at the stake in 1431 following a grueling trial for heretical behavior among other crimes (Joan was posthumously exonerated and is now a French national hero). Dreyer was innovative in his deep and unflinching interest in the faces of his actors, the master believing that “nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry.”—Carl Theodor Dreyer.
Accompanying the film will be a performance of Richard Einhorn’s imaginative oratorio “Voices of Light,” written for the film. “Voices of Light” features Camerata PYP with vocals by In Mulieribus, three Portland State University ensembles, Chamber Choir, Vox Femina, and Man Choir, and vocal soloists Catherine van der Salm, Hannah Penn, Brian Tierney, and Anton Belov. Official media sponsor is All Classical Portland. Information and tickets at portlandyouthphil.org.