Virtual Screening Room: Joan of Arc

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Opens Friday, May 29

This title is no longer available to watch in our Virtual Screening Room

Live Virtual Q&A
Thursday, June 4 at 1:00pm (EST)

Join director Bruno Dumont for a live virtual Q&A moderated by L.A. film critic and programmer of the Acropolis Cinema, Jordan Cronk! This event is free and open to the public but RSVP is required.

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2019 • dir Bruno Dumont w/Lise Leplat Prudhomme • 138 min

In the 15th century, both France and England stake a blood claim for the French throne. Believing that God had chosen her, the young Joan heroically leads the army of the King of France but, when she is captured, the Church puts her on trial for heresy. Though Joan was a teenager when tried, writer/director Bruno Dumont’s decision to work with a ten-year-old actress – Lise Leplat Prudhomme, so memorable in his prequel, Jeannette – re-injects this heroine’s timeless cause and ideology with a modernity that highlights the stark contrast between the old men in power and the seemingly frail girl confronting them. In Jeannette, Dumont contemporized his characters by having them dance to heavy-metal-infused folk music but here, for his return to the second half of the story, he achieves a similar effect by casting eerily sung almost-pop songs as Joan’s inner voice. This idiosyncratic approach rehumanizes, and brings a revitalization to, a historical legend that so many have heard before.

“Dumont turns the tale into a dialectical spectacle: he stages military musters like Busby Berkeley productions, seethes at the torturers’ rationalizations, delights in hearing his actors declaim the scholars’ sophistries, and thrills in the pugnacious simplicity of Joan’s defiant responses, which reduce her captors’ pride to ridicule.”
– Richard Brody, New Yorker

(NYT Critic’s Pick) “It’s perhaps easy to apprehend Dumont’s approach with a “What’s this oddball up to now?” smirk. But if Dumont is joking at all, it’s a form of what used to be called ‘kidding on the square.'”
– Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“Poor Joan has been suffering through the cinema ever since Carl Theodore Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc in 1928, and Prudhomme’s stern, battle-ready glare gives it fresh power.”
– Eric Kohn, Indiewire