Condemned in France and banned in England upon its release in 1928, The Passion of Joan of Arc has since earned universal coronation as one of the greatest films ever made. Now, in Voices Appeared: Silent Cinema and Medieval Music, this movie is accompanied for the first time by one of Europe's most expert vocal quartets, Britain's Orlando Consort.
Condemned in France and banned in England upon its release in 1928, The Passion of Joan of Arc has since earned universal coronation as one of the greatest films ever made. With a documentarian’s authenticity and a disruptor’s aesthetic, director Carl Theodor Dreyer chronicles the 15th-century interrogation, trial, and execution of a “simple shepherdess” turned Catholic saint.
Inspired by visions of angels and saints, Joan posed as a boy to help France defeat British occupation forces in the Hundred Years’ War—all before age 19. Dreyer lends intense isolation to the often outsized, crowd-pleasing medium of silent film—using discomforting close-ups, disquieting editorial rhythms, and a dynamic turn from actress Renée Maria Falconetti that film critic Pauline Kael said “may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.” Now, in Voices Appeared: Silent Cinema and Medieval Music, Dreyer’s magnum opus is accompanied for the first time by an a cappella score. Curated and performed by one of Europe’s most expert vocal quartets, Britain’s Orlando Consort, the score masterfully uses French sacred and secular music from 1050 to 1550 to illuminate the emotional arc of the film, featuring hymns, chansons, chants, Kyries, and motets that Joan likely heard during her brief, remarkable life.
Paired with the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center’s impeccable acoustics, Voices Appeared offers an emotionally enveloping blend of choral music and cinematic marvels “so intimate we fear we will discover more secrets than we desire” (Roger Ebert).
7PM / St. Thomas Aquinas
Join members of the Indiana Film Journalists Association for a discussion about the movie The Passion of Joan of Arc. Free and open to ticket holders.