The Passion

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03/13/2009 11:30 AM |


Carl Theodor Dreyer lived with ghosts and gods. Only someone with an impassioned, intuitive belief in impossible occurrences could have directed films so radical in their sincere postulation of the miraculous, and Dreyer — an orphan of Swiss extraction who became Denmark’s most famous filmmaker — consistently produced revelations of the sublime, whether Christian, pagan or romantic. Though he directed little over a dozen features from 1919 to 1964, in that time Dreyer redefined the artform with the purpose of enacting an inimitable "realized mysticism."

So begins Michael Joshua Rowin’s consideration of the films of Carl Dreyer, in the current on, on the occasion of BAM‘s spotlight. Which begins tonight, with The Passion of Joan of Arc (“The Passion remains one of the cinema’s strangest and most spiritual experiences, vaulted into the firmament by Dreyer’s committed vision to making plain and powerful the simple faith of a saint,” sez MJR), and continues through the end of the month, featuring new prints of canonical works alongside well-nigh-impossible-to-track-down early silent features.