Cinema Releases - Joan of Arc
In 1429, the Hundred Years’ War between France and England had already been going 90 odd years. Believing that God had chosen her, the young Joan is a leader of the army of the King of France and lifts the siege of Orléans, enabling the dauphin to be formally crowned as Charles VII.
After she is captured, she is sent for trial on charges of heresy, to be judged by pro-Burgundian and pro-English clerics. Refusing to accept the accusations, Joan stays obdurate.
The film was presented in the Un Certain Regard selection in Cannes 2019 and was awarded a special mention.
2019, 138 mins
Cine Lumiere London Thu Jan 9th (preceded by a masterclass with Bruno Dumont)
Home Manchester Fri Jan 10th with a Q&A with Bruno Dumont
Born in 1958, Bailleul, France, Dumont studied philosophy before he started directing and writing films. To date, he has directed eleven feature films and two TV series, all of which border somewhere between realistic drama and the avant-garde. His films have won several awards at the Cannes films Festival. Two of Dumont's films have won the Grand Prix award: both L'Humanité (1999) and Flandres (2006).
Dumont began working for television with the series P’tit Quinquin (2014), which aired on ARTE.
Coincoin and the Extra Humans was the sequel of P’tit Quinquin and was presented during the 71st Locarno Festival in 2018 where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
He changed tack again with the challenge of a rock musical with Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc (2017), based on a play by Charles Péguy.
Joan of Arc, also from the Charles Péguy play, was presented in Un Certain Regard selection in Cannes 2019.
His latest film, On a Half Clear Morning, has yet to be premiered.
1997 THE LIFE OF JESUS - Directors' Fortnight, Winner ‘Special Mention’ Caméra d’Or Cannes
1999 HUMANITY – Cannes, Winner ‘Grand Prix’
2003 TWENTYNINE PALMS - Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes
2006 FLANDERS – Cannes Winner ‘Grand Prix’
2009 HADEWIJCH – Director’s Fortnight, Cannes, Toronto Film Festival, Winner FIPRESCI prize
2011 HORS SATAN - Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2019
2013 CAMILLE CLAUDEL 1915 – Berlin Film Festival
2014 P’TIT QUINQUIN - Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes
2016 SLACK BAY – In Competition, Cannes
2017 JEANETTE – Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes
2018 COINCOIN AND THE EXTRA-HUMANS - Locarno, Winner ‘Lifetime Achievement’ prize
2019 JOAN OF ARC – Un Certain Regard, Cannes. Winner ‘Special Jury Mention’ Cannes, Louis-Delluc Award
2020 ON A HALF CLEAR MORNING
|Jeanne d’Arc||Lise Leplat-Prudhomme|
|Madame Jacqueline||Annick Lavieville|
|Monseigneur Regnauld de Chartres||Benoît Robai|
|Messire Raoul de Gaucourt||Alain Desjacques|
|Monseigneur Patrice Bernard||Serge Holvoet|
|Gilles de Rais||Julien Manier|
|Maître Jean||Jérôme Brimeux|
|Messire Jean, Duc D’Alençon||Benjamin Demassieux|
|Le Baron de Montmorency||Marc Parmentier|
|Comte de Clermont||Jean-Pierre Baude|
|Frère Jean Pasquerel||Yves Baudelle|
|Maître Nicolas l’oiseleur||Fabien Fenet|
|Frère Mathieu Bourat||Valério Vassallo|
|Maître Fidèle Pierret||Laurent Brassart|
|Maître Jean Beaupère||Joël Carion|
|Maître Nicolas Midi||Franck Dubois|
|Maître Thomas de Courcelles||Daniel Dienne|
|Maître William Haiton||Yves Habert|
|Monseigneur Pierre Cauchon||Jean-François Causeret|
|Messire Jean D’Estivet||Robert Hanicotte|
|Maître Jean de la Fontaine||Claude Saint-Paul|
|Messire Jean Massieu||Benoît Ente|
|Mauger le Parmentier||Hervé Flechais|
|Julien L’Anget||David Babin|
|Maître François Brasset||Michel Delhaye|
|With the participation of|
|King Charles VII||Fabrice Luchini|
|Director & Screenwriter||Bruno Dumont|
|Based on Jeanne d'Arc||Charles Péguy|
|Producers||Jean Bréhat, Rachid Bouchareb,|
|Line Producer||Cédric Ettouati|
|Script Supervisor||Virginie Barbay|
|Sound Editor||Romain Ozanne|
|Editors||Bruno Dumont and Basile Belkhiri|
|Production & post-production director||Cédric Ettouati|
|First Assistant Director||Rémi Bouvier|
|Dialogue Coach||Julie Sokolowski|
|Make Up||Simon Livet|
|Costume Design||Alexandra Charles|
|Set Designer||Erwan Legal|
|Location Manager||Edouard Sueur|
|Stills Photographer||Roger Arpajou|
|With the participation of||Pictanovo|
|With the support of||La Région Hauts de France|
|With the participation of||Le Centre National du Cinéma|
|et de l’Image Animée|
|In association with||CINECAP 2|
|138 mins / 1:1.85 / 5.1|
“There is a God and his name is Bruno Dumont. His piously poisonous sequel to last year’s best film, Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, is artier, holier, and will give you Catholic goose bumps. The ten-year-old star stares nobly and defiantly through the camera lens right into your soul and doesn’t even wait for the church authorities—she burns herself at the stake.”
John Waters, Artforum
‘Joan of Arc’ Review: The Saint Is Revisited in Song
‘Dumont’s depiction of the French priests who try her is striking. Eager to deliver her to “the secular arm,” so that she can be executed without their taking any responsibility, the men are egotistical, cynical and bombastic in a way that’s contemporary without breaking the particular period spell the movie creates.’
Glenn Kenny, NY Times
‘ Viewers who commit to the challenge of the movie’s initial passage may find themselves drifting into the center of Dumont’s spell, as the movie crawls toward a fascinating rumination on the character’s persistence under duress. Prudhomme’s immature features make her a fascinating entry point for exploring Joan’s mystique.’
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
‘Soldiers, saints, and prelates emerge from the wilderness and are swallowed back into it...composition conjures poetic imagery of simplicity, where everthing comes down to the triad of human, divine and nature, and the rugged immensity of the latter participates in trumpeting the glory of the Creator.
While Joan of Arc may well be unlikely to earn Dumont new acolytes (and more likely to leave even the most fervent of devotees puzzled for some of the more discussions-heavy segments) it achieves the miraculous feat of poking at the dogmatism of religious institution, while celebrating faith in all its mysterious, obscure powers.'
Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage
“Dumont evokes the war sparely with an extraordinary equestrian ballet, as the French cavalry go through their pre-battle paces – sometimes shot directly from above as the horses form elaborate patterns, it’s a mesmerising sequence, giving the film a flavour that’s equal parts Brecht, Bresson and Busby Berkeley.”
Joan has consistently been a figurehead for the French right, but here she very much embodies resistance to religious intolerance, while in terms of gender politics, there could hardly be a more extreme example of a woman’s persecution by the massed ranks of the patriarchy.
Dumont’s boldest move, and the one that provides the film’s emotive drive, is the casting of 10-year-old Lise Leplat Prudhomme as Joan…Her performance is consistently forceful…quite extraordinary – and formidable. It’s her presence as an embodiment of innocent, unbending will that gives the film its most persuasive meaning.'
Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
'For the second instalment in Bruno Dumont’s diptych, the director follows his 2017 rock opera, “Jeannette” with the sombre and ironic balladry of a defeated young warrior facing execution at the hands of her enemies.
Adapting a play by Charles Péguy, 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. With music by the singer-songwriter Christophe (who died of COVID-19 in April).'
Richard Brody, New Yorker
‘Filmed before the gloriously gaudy High Altar of the Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens, the trial… has hardly ever possessed such a zealous and powerful presence as in this scene’s mise en scène….it becomes the synecdochal Church, Law, and Nation. It is this institutional form of the sacred that defeats the “common things” via sheer spectacle, with Jeanne’s conviction (in every sense) following suit—de-mystified, ridiculous, yet still impossibly grandiose.’
Blake Williams, Cinemascope
‘Prudhomme’s mix of child-like vulnerability and courage offers some solace from the otherwise dry, extended elucubrations…Joan of Arc may achieves the miraculous feat of poking at the dogmatism of religious institution, while celebrating faith in all its mysterious, obscure powers.’
Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage
‘Dumont’s Joan films are excellent additions to the cinematic saint’s pantheon.’
‘The cinematography is often strikingly beautiful still frames or slow zooms on Prudhomme's face, her visage both captivating and confrontational. The effect of the synth music, the repeated lyrics, and the frame of Prudhomme creates a hypnotic effect.
‘In a stunning sequence in Bruno Dumont’s Jeanne, an armor-clad Joan of Arc (Lise Leplat Prudhomme) is mounted on a horse in the midst of a battlefield between French and English soldiers. The young girl looks surprisingly calm, even majestic. But the battle unfolding is not of massive armies and savage bloodshed. Instead, two rows of horses parade around the verdant open field with balletic grace, accompanied by the rhythmic syncopation from a line of drummers. Beautiful overhead shots capture the symmetry of the riders as they weave around Joan with choreographed movements.There is something transcendent about this moment… his singular moment had me in its grip…and I confess that I found myself entranced, even moved to tears. ‘
Joel Mayward, Cinemayward