Georges Méliès: Jeanne d’Arc

Jeanne d’Arc
R: Georges Méliès. B: Georges Méliès. D: Bleuette Bernon, Georges Méliès, Jeanne d’Alcy. P: Star-Film. Fr 1900

“Despite being made as early as 1900, Georges MélièsJoan of Arc was in fact the second adaptation of the legend: Georges Hatot‘s The Execution of Joan of Arc (Execution de Jeanne d’Arc) was made in 1897.
As with Méliès’ other longer-form films, there are a reasonable number of extras, though the primary justification for an otherwise interminable march-past through Orléans seems to be so that Méliès can convince us that he really had a cast of thousands at his disposal. In actual fact, his performers would exit the shot at the right of the screen, and would quickly dash behind the backdrop to reappear again on the left.”

“A historical epic in tableaux. Méliès is at the beginning of the lavish tradition of Jeanne d’Arc films, in contrast to the Dreyer-Bresson approach. Domrémy, the vision, denouncing the captain, the court of the King, Renault de Chartres, the coronation at Reims, the battle at Compègne, the siege of the fortress, Jeanne captured, the vision of the village, the interrogation, the burning at the stake. The signature bright red highlight of the hand-coloured films of Georges Méliès appears at the burning. The apotheosis: the ascent into heaven.”
Antti Alanen