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FEBRUARY 28TH. 7:30pm Carl Dreyer's "PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC" (1928) will be at the Birmingham Museum of Art. This is quite an event, y'all. I have been trying to get this shown in Birmingham for a while. If you want to have a truly moving and profound movie-going experience this will be it.

: Until the mid 1980's this was considered a lost film with only stills and small film fragments to be found.It was banned by the French government and what seemed to be the remaining films were burned in a film warehouse fire. Then only 15 or so years ago a whole uncut version was miraculously found stashed away in a closet in a Danish mental institution (can you stand it?). This is the second release. (A pretty scratchy version was released on video in the late 1980's.) The version that will be shown at the museum was released in 1997 and has been beautifully restored digitally. A perfect sound track has been recorded by the group Anonymous 4, choir and symphony. The lyrics, in Latin, are of writings by medieval women Christian mystics.

There has never been anything else like the cinematography which ranges from series of close ups of the faces of Joan's accusers to wonderful lingering shots of robes, crosses and Joan. Stylized and intense, the details are incredible. The script is taken solely from the recorded manuscript of her trial and the bell heard ringing on the soundtrack was recorded from the church Joan went to as a child.

I do hope you'll consider going. It's only $5.00 and what else are you going to see? That crappy new Kevin Costner movie?


Marjorie Clark Otts