- Attori: Ingrid Bergman, Tullio Carminati, Agnese Dubbini, Giacinto Brandelli
- Regista: Roberto Rossellini
- Formato: DVD, Schermo pieno, PAL
- Audio: Italiano (Dolby Digital 1.0), Francese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
- Lingua: Italiano, Francese
- Sottotitoli: Italiano
- Regione: Tutte le regioni
- Formato immagine: 1.33:1
- Numero di dischi: 1
- Studio: TERMINAL VIDEO ITALIA SRL
- Data versione DVD: 8 set. 2009
- Durata: 70 minuti
- ASIN: B000WAOO5U
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 35.637 in Film e TV (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Film e TV)
Giovanna d'Arco al rogo
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In cielo, Giovanna d'Arco ha un colloquio con San Domenico: essa gli chiede di rivelarle quanto gli uomini hanno scritto di lei. Sono passati in rassegna gli episodi salienti della sua vita e della sua passione. Passano sullo schermo scene campestri, l'entrata a Rouen, episodi relativi alla scelta dei giudici, la morte sul rogo... VD
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Oddly, the two main roles--Joan and Brother Dominique--are spoken, not sung. The 70-minute film, with English subtitles, was never released commercially in the U.S. In Gevacolor (favoring brown, red, white, black), the present DVD is the only currently available video of this oratorio.
Remarkably, for 1953, the stage performance was recorded by only two cameramen, each with an assistant, and a microphone setup that avoids extraneous noise from stage, orchestra pit, and AUDIENCE (cough! cough!), as well as uneven balance.
In Rossellini's bookend concept, the Prologue and final scene are similarly staged: behind a scrim, a column of figurines of medieval angels laments that France lies devastated from the English invasion. A voice asks, Who was a girl called Joan? Briefly, she is seen bound to the stake, flames about her.
In following scenes, at our left is a platform backed by black sky with stars. Here, throughout the progression, Joan with manacled wrists dangling short chain fragments converses with Brother Dominique--about her confusion over the accusations that she is a heretic and witch to be burned at the stake with the approval of her own countrymen. But eventually she recalls her beautiful days at Domremy, when Saints Margaret and Catherine (offstage singers) inspired her, and Saint Michael gave her the Sword. She has a transformative thought: It will be me who will be burned as a gracious candle.
At our right, the stage has space reserved for set changes, including three off-putting silly scenes: (1) Joan and Dominique view her trial as an animal fable presided over by a Pig, heard by judges as Sheep, and translated in the court by an A--. (2) Arrogant royal personages play an absurd Card Game satirizing the powers conniving for Joan's execution. (3) In the countryside, revellers celebrate the marriage of the miller Heurtebise (representing good French bread) and Mother Wine Cask (good French wine); in the distance, a short column of of miniature horses and riders is seen entering Rheims for the coronation.
In a fourth, more straightforward scene, Joan is chained to the stake in the square at Rouen, before the cathedral. Having with Brother Dominique found her certainty, she refuses the last attempt to get her to sign a paper admitting her guilt. And as flames arise, the heavens call Come, come, come, and suddenly Joan breaks the chains and holds up her freed hands.
As in the Prologue, angel figurines circle in the darkness, a soft point of light ascends heavenward, voices sing There's no greater love than giving up your life for someone you love. Joan walks alone into the blackness and stars.
The Claudel-Honegger Jeanne...au bucher grows ever weaker over the decades. Somebody make a two-piano reduction so it can survive on college campuses as a collaboration of the theater and music departments. It's always good to see Ms Bergman again, even in this thankless constricted part. Though 38, she maintains a fresh youthful delivery, and eschews the declamatory style chosen by some actresses.
10 minutes: three previews from Bergman films, and the 1901 Jeanne film by George Melies.
Enthusiasm has got the better hold of me. I cannot believe that this stark, formally brave, one-of-a-kind film directed by Roberto Rossellini, his next-to-last feature starring then-wife Ingrid Bergman, will find its way onto home video. Here, Rossellini insists on a completely inward performance from Bergman. The setting is deliberately theatrical, Bergman is seldom seen closely, and in fact much of the time what we see of her is a ghostly superimposition. There may never have been a less fleshly performance in the history of cinema, and yet Bergman's passion is tremendous, and she overcomes obstacles that would seem to prevent communication with us, as Joan fled imprisonment and the shackles of this world to unite with God. While I love the film versions of Joan of Arc directed by Carl Dreyer, Robert Bresson, and Jacques Rivette (the complete five-hour-plus version), this one is my favorite. If I were to select the ten best films ever made, this film, translated as "Joan at the Stake," would be one of them.