Author Topic: Carl Theodor Dreyer  (Read 2129 times)

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LostEraser

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Carl Theodor Dreyer
« on: July 11, 2004, 11:28:02 PM »
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I looked but I couldn't find a Carl Dreyer thread. I finished the book Speaking The Language Of Desire: The Films Of Cary Dreyer by Ray Carney a few weeks ago which concentrates on his three major sound films: Day Of Wrath, Ordet, and Gertrud. It's one of the best film books I've ever read and is making me love his films even more. I've always loved them and I've always considered The Passion Of Joan Of Arc to be one fo the greatest films ever made. But now I consider all of his films to be some of the greatest. In fact, I love those three sound films even more than Joan Of Arc now. Though the style is very different, especially in Ordet and Gertrude his two best. Full of slow moving long shots (very similar to Tarkovsky in that way) as opposed to all the quick close ups that are in Joan Of Arc. I've been watching my criterion box set of his films - as well as the documentary about him in the set - a lot these last few weeks. Does anyone else love his films? I find them more moving than a lot of other more well known spiritual filmmakers such as Bergman or Bresson.
Capra tells us that, in effect, love's dreams are only dreams and that they will never quite bear translation into practical forms of relationship and expression. They will never be realized in the world but only in our consciousness and in our most daring and glorious works of art - but that, for Capra, is no reason to abandon love's dreams.
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edison

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 08:45:17 PM »
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Vampyr, which is actually Carl Dreyers follow-up to The Passion Of Joan Of Arc which i enjoyed but the quality of the transfer really affected my viewing experience.  i'd like to see it again, especially if someone takes the time to clean it up a bit, but it was no Nosferatu or more importantly no Dracula (which was released the same year), making this seem inexcusably ancient.

Get ready to see it again. This will be an excellent release.


Ordet

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2009, 02:39:33 PM »
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Ordet - Amen.
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Alexandro

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 02:19:24 PM »
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Vampyr made an astounding impression on me when I saw it a few months ago. The fluidity of the camera work and unusual angles and compositions took me by surprise. It looks ancient but in a fantastic way. It makes it even creepier because it looks like something shot out of time, it gave me a strange feeling of being in the presence of real supernatural phenomenons recorded in a time before modernity.

The score also contributed to this, and the uncanny instinct shown by Dreyer to recognize and use amazing faces. Every actor in this film had a tremendously cinematic face. I loved it that the film really had no story, just this happenings one after the other, loosely tied by the almost invisible plot. Again, what makes it so compelling is the cinematography, the way things are shown and portrayed, the movement. I don't understand how they were able to do some of the things they did here, what seemed like complicated crane shots, dolly shots and overhead shots. It's very exciting to think of Dreyer and his crew just discovering the possibilities of what they could do with what was there. His approach I would say it's more modern than pretty much any other silent director I've seen, including Murnau and Griffith, which both were great, but there's something about the energy and the quickness of some camera movements here that is just exciting. He was obviously trying to make each little thing count. And that's actually what happened to me while watching Vampyr, I became so aware of the beauty of the thing, of the movement, it became like an experience more than just a film.

Vampyr got me excited enough that I didn't hesitate to check The Passion of Joan of Arc the minute I could. It is certainly and without any doubt one of the single greatest films I've ever seen, silent or otherwise. I was shocked by the emotion in it, and the way it just grabbed me from the first second till the last. There are a ton of interesting and radical things Dreyer is doing here, even for today standards. I mean right now, anyone attempting a film mostly in close ups, interiors, with little mind games like changing the perspective from where you're seeing a character's face from one shot to the next would probably fail miserably. He does it not only with success but seamlessly, completely in coherence with the material, the intention and the aesthetic. He avoids pretty much every cliche there is about silent films today. The actors with no make up, which for some insane reason was a standard back then, prove to be way more effective without it, and the performances become more real because no one over acts as it was the costume back then. Falconetti, who plays Joan, it's beyond words really. I don't know if this performance has something to compare it too. It is so unique it becomes it's own parameter. Every enigma the character inspires is conveyed by her performance: is Joan crazy? Is she seeing God? Is she right, wrong? You end up thinking it doesn't matter. It could be either way, and then you find yourself feeling empathy for her even though reason may tell you, well, she's wrong. I gotta say part of it is the portrayal of the people interrogating her, but since you're right there with her seeing everything from her point of view, it does make sense that approach was taken. And more than that, the level of intimacy achieved between her and the rest of the characters is something so far I haven't seen in a film of that era. The whole film is very intense. And it feels like a transcendent spitritual experience. That it was almost lost forever seems only to add to it's transcendence...I'm probably not saying anything terribly interesting or new about this film, but felt the urge to share my feelings about it since it was such a powerfull trip for me.

I'm dying to see anything else by this man.

Ordet

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2009, 12:37:26 PM »
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just saw Day of wrath the other day. A truly haunting film. Dreyer to me is essential, he influenced people from Bergman to Lars Von Trier and many more. I read Stan Brackhage had him in high regards. He is one of the greatest artists in cinema. 
were spinning

Alexandro

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 09:31:13 PM »
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just saw ordet. another masterpiece. truly a fantastic piece of cinema. this guy could no wrong.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 06:39:44 AM »
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On my blog, I posted portions of Harry Alan Potamkin's original 1929 review of The Passion of Joan of Arc with commentary by me on the aesthetic implications of the review by Potamkin and how it fit into his larger framework of film philosophy. Since him and other critics were fighting certain trends of cinema to narratives that were like genre, the review by Potamkin is interesting and he reads the film better than a lot of people do today (in my opinion).

http://filmsplatter.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/potamkin-on-the-passion-of-joan-of-arc/

Pubrick

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2010, 07:50:41 AM »
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http://filmsplatter.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/potamkin-on-the-passion-of-joan-of-arc/

excellent timing, i just got this out of the library and hope to rewatch it tomoro.

the disc i got is barebones so this commentary will serve as my extra features.
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children with angels

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 10:18:33 AM »
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You fans seen this awesome new site?

http://english.carlthdreyer.dk/
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http://www.alternatetakes.co.uk/
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Alexandro

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Re: Carl Theodor Dreyer
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2010, 11:46:02 AM »
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damn it's a fantastic site!!!

 

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