The Trial Of Joan Of Arc details
|Starring:||Marc Jacquier, Jean-Claude Forneau, Florence Carrez|
|Genre:||World Cinema - French|
The Trial Of Joan Of Arc
|Run time:||1 hour 1 minute|
|Rental release:||23 May 2005|
Most helpful review
Simply StrikingBy JosephK (6 reviews) from Staffordshire , 30 Jun 2005
[Highly rated reviewer]Robert Bresson?s minimalist approach to film-making is effectively employed in this re-telling of the last part of the Joan of Arc story, from the inquisition to her death. Taken directly from the transcripts of the trial with nothing added, no stirring music or sentimentality, the film allows us to be moved simply by the power of these factual accounts. Bresson?s stripped-bare style echoes the simplistic, lucid yet passionate responses given by Joan to her interrogators. We are presented with an intelligent character, strong and resolute who, except for a slight wobble, remains firm in her convictions; yet we are also reminded of her youth and vulnerability, her purity and her loneliness. Before her death an English soldier presents her with a crudely made cross; the way she holds this simple symbol of courage and faith is devastating.
For the background to the story of Joan of Arc see the interview with historian Georges Duby which is included in the supplements section. Also included as extras are interviews with Bresson and Florence Delay (Joan) along with other bits and pieces including Malraux?s speech at the anniversary of the liberation of Orl?ans.
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Background Reading HelpsBy Seedyvee (183 reviews) from Grantham , 18 Mar 2012Despite the faithful and scholarly reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc we are not given enough contextual background to enable us to make a more objective judgement for ourselves. Successions of similar scenes almost become monotonous especially as the questioning seems to go round in circles but the performance of Florence Carrez holds it all together and the tragic outcome is a poignant moment unspoilt by silence.
Court in the actBy InspectorSands (209 reviews) from London , 22 Apr 2009I watched this as a companion piece to Luc Besson's modern take and now I'm all Joaned out. Anyway, this is as bleak, minimalistic and stripped down as Besson's take is dramatic. They overlap slightly, but the trial is shown away from the public here whereas in Besson's film Joan (pronounced Jean) finds her defiance is greeted with outraged whispers and exclamations in the crowded court.
As you know, this is about the simple peasant girl who led the fightback against the English invaders in the late 1420s thanks to divine visions, only to fall into the clutches of the Bergundians who handed her over to the English for a showtrial, denouncing her as a witch. She was burned at the stake.
As with everything, you learn to take one step back to take two forward. Joan did have parents who later campagined for her rehabilitation after her death, Besson's film implies she was made an orphan through some English lairy savagery. Her canonisation centuries later was in part due to the Vatican wanting to be nice to France. And she was that much a peasant girl, though she couldn't read or write, hardly unusual back then. Her parents were the village aristocracy.
Frances Delay, who plays Jean (as it's pronounced), has at times the sulky noncompliance of Magda the home help in Jack Dee's sitcom Lead Balloon.
Good stuff but v wordy as it's lifted from the trial documents verbatim. Make sure to watch the documentary/interview on this disc, as a dusty male expert vs foxy French interviewer, the latter visibly moved over Joan's plight; the whole thing develops into a male-female gender clash not dissimilar to in the films!
rightly hailed as a classicBy a customer from Charlton , 03 Jan 2009If you don't like Bresson's style - this film is not for you. Otherwise see this film - the trademark austere approach, all pared down, and with non-professional actors, produces a clear and moving account of the last days of Saint Joan. No other director could have done it like this - and none done it better.
a slow burner?By a customer from Bath , 28 Dec 2008Bresson shows rather than tells his story and lays bare the events of the trial using nonprofessional actors, plain sets without any musical score. At first this can be a little like watching a school play where actors shuffle on and off the set, apparently dead from the neck down. However this minimalist approach becomes absorbing as we watch Joan give deceptively shrewd answers to the prosecutors' tricking questions - such as 'Do you believe you live in God's grace' - designed to condemn her whether she answers one way or the other. Slowly the realisation dawns on her that her fate is sealed whatever answer she gives and she is tempted to commit perjury to save her life. The accompanying interview with a French historian shows that neither French, English nor Burgundians emerge from the story with any credit, each being responsible for her 'sacrifice.' Some time after her death she was exonerated and sanctified ...to serve the interests of the church and court that condemned her.
Its all in the editingBy a customer from North of Reading , 10 Nov 2008This is based on actual documents of the trial of Joan of Arc, however the actual 'acting' is pretty wooden and most of the lines are done as if doing a read through rather than of any real people (the english voices shouting out 'she's a witch' seem to be not far from the sketch by Python in The Holy Grail), the only emotion is shown by the actress playing Joan therefore you get a fairly unbalanced portrait of the trial even allowing for all the politics going on behind the scenes. The only aspect of the film which gives it any dynamism is the editing which smoothly cuts between all the to-ing and fro-ing of the priests and soldiers and between the closeups of characters in what in other hands may have stayed as very stagey.
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