Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Passion of Joan of Arc

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 20, 2018
Price: DVD $13.72, Blu-ray $19.80
Studio: Criterion

Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy come to stark, vivid life in the 1928 silent drama The Passion of Joan of Arc.

Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the days leading up to her execution, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy, employing an array of techniques – including expressionistic lighting, interconnected sets, and painfully intimate close-ups – to immerse viewers in her subjective experience.

Anchoring Dreyer’s audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom.

Presented with French intertitles with English subtitles, Criterion’s new editions of the silent foreign classic include the following:

* New high-definition digital restoration of the film by Gaumont, presented at 24 frames per second
* Alternate presentation of the film at 20 frames per second with original Danish intertitles
* Three scores: Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, a choral and orchestral work performed by vocal group Anonymous 4, soloist Susan Narucki, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Choir; another by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and Portishead’s Adrian Utley; and the third composed and performed by pianist Mie Yanashita
* Audio commentary from 1999 by film scholar Casper Tybjerg
* New interview with Einhorn
* New conversation between Gregory and Utley
* New video essay by Tybjerg exploring the debate over the film’s frame rate
* Interview from 1995 with actor Renée Falconetti’s daughter and biographer, Hélène Falconetti
* Version history
* Production design archive
* New English subtitle translation
* An essay by critic Mark Le Fanu, a 1929 director’s statement by Carl Theodor Dreyer, and the full libretto for Voices of Light

Buy or Rent The Passion of Joan of Arc

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.