The Passion Of Joan Of Arc Analysis

2142 Words 9 Pages
The silent cinema offers a treasure grove for the study of film acting. In the absence of sound, it shows performers constructing their respective characters by only using their bodies, not their voices. For this reason, silent cinema demands maximum expressiveness from actors. Rather than conveying their emotions by means of words, performers of the silent era knew how to express their feelings through gestures and facial expressions in such a manner that their feelings could be easily communicated to the audience. Indeed, the international success of such silent cinema performers as Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo attests to the universal appeal of film acting. As expressed by these performers, such basic human emotions as sadness or happiness …show more content…
Bordwell (2008) argues that the use of close-ups plays a significant role in determining acting style. “Today, with mainstream fiction films using many close-ups, actor’s faces are hugely enlarged, and the performers must control their expressions minutely” (Bordwell, 2008, p. 134). While Bordwell makes this point with regards to contemporary cinema, it applies equally well to Dreyer’s film. In The Passion of Joan of Arc, Falconetti is not seen pacing rapidly around the room or raising her hands in a dramatic manner while depicted in a long shot or medium shot. With her body being largely immobile, the focus of the film shifts on her expressive face depicted in …show more content…
This was contrary to established practices of silent cinema. For example, German expressionist filmmakers of the Weimar era relied on exaggerated make-up to reveal emotional states of characters. Dreyer, on the other hand, opted for stark realism and filmed Falconetti’s expressive face in close-up shots and without applying make-up. The result was a truthful and at times unsettling portrayal of the character’s intense emotional

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