Pretty Old Films

film 3 of 6

Joan the Woman

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jun 16, 2015

Curious, looks primitive next to The Cheat, as if “the big picture” made people’s brains turn off a little bit, which doesn’t mean it’s as bad as I’ve made it sound; is this religious stylization or dell s’arte stylization? to be sure Farrar (a very curious kind of movie star, though it speaks better for that age than for this that such a plump gal could make it) is very semaphoric (or is it iconic?), but Joan just poses all the time, while surrounding folks just pose when something religious seems to be taking place, the framing device is curious (pre Civilization), and only makes sense as a pro-WW I device (!), the scale is big and not really awkward, lights shine at every miracle, there’s a very telling separation of the holy from the profane, as if sacredness has nothing to do with regular lives, it’s interesting how bible lines are dropped into the character’s mouth (“Father, why hast thou forsaken me?” “Forgive me, I know not what I did”), the trial pans all over faces like Dreyer later, why is this romance here?, the conflagration is pretty harrowing