Carl Theodor Dreyer Richard Rowland - Essay

Richard Rowland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Dreyer's aim in The Passion of Joan of Arc is close] to that of the early Flemish painters whose painstaking realism is as full of compassion as it is unrelenting in its mirroring of nature. One thinks of Breughel's stubble-chinned "Old Shepherd," or the brutally unmistakable humanity of Bosch's "Crowning with Thorns" …; like theirs, Dreyer's art stems from a conviction, both disillusioned and confident, that whatever coarseness or cruelty may characterize them, men are what matter in this world; now you, the spectator, are the dead center of that world, involved in mankind with a painful, inescapable, and somehow ennobling intensity.

One scene in Joan of Arc underlines this with...

(The entire section is 1031 words.)