- Evidence that I was dead wrong in my first viewing of the film (2010 I believe) is readily apparent in the first 10 minutes— this is one of the most assured artistic examples of mise-en-scene in cinema history
- It’s a game changer for me on Dreyer—it’s clearly his second best film (after joan of arc) and I think it’s going to be one of the films I mention again and again when praising production design, mise-en-scene, and film décor- it’s up there with Von Sternberg’s achievement in this area, ahead of Sirk, and even modern masters like Wes Anderson.
- There’s the ornate details in both wooden chairs used again from Ordet. Ordet’s mise-en-scene is much more stark by contrast- this is sumptuous and really something to behold in each setting
- Like Ordet the characters are talking to air very deliberately – -a very stylized approach (which is a bit ironic because I believe Dreyer’s goal was to entirely strip them of falseness and “performance”). At times the actors are close to seeming possessed or like Zombies
- Dreyer’s first film in 9 years (Ordet 1955)
- Pictures of ancestors on walls like Ordet
- Absolutely meticulous in the design of the frame—really stunning– exacting
- The 2nd scene- the pond with the reflection of the water and the statue in the background is as much a stunner as the first
- It’s avant-garde in its approach- reminds me of Peter Greenaway
- Later we have gorgeous shots of the piano and candlestick setting the frame—yet another looks similar to Vertigo (in B/W of course) with drapes and light coming in from the window
- While praising a poet character in the film Gertrud actually says “each sentence is well-constructed and considered”
- Another gorgeous scene of a doctor talking with her (the film is a serious of conversations in perfect framing and in front of gorgeous backdrops) in front of a massive tapestry—it’s a mirror to the doctor/religion discussion in Ordet
- Dogmatic and aesthetic
- Symmetrical unlike anything I’ve seen up to 1964
- The narrative and themes match perfectly with ordet and passion of joan of arc. Gertrud, the character, Is a zealot for love. She won’t budge or settle. Obsessive and monomaniacal to the point of self-infliction and degradation. (hello Breaking the Waves)—fellow Dane
- A great Bergman-like framed two shot at 90 degrees (see pic) and at 84 minutes a shot of Gertrud in the mirror that is breathtaking
- There is much more for the cinematic eye here than in Ordet (some of the best scenes from Ordet, like the coffin framing scene) are routine here
- Gertrud sure seems as obsessive as Dreyer is- unrelenting
- Feminism- day of wrath, joan of arc, master of the house
- An Absolute masterpiece
What do you think was wrong when you saw her in 2010 and gave a recomendation? It seems like a great advance to go from R to MP.
I love what you mention here the production design and how they look like zombies haha, Although I must point out that it does not mention track and reframe in the same shot, which is one of the most impressive things in the film.
@Aldo– I think I’m just a better critic now than I was 10 years ago. It is a process. A few people just struggled with Alien a few days ago. I’ve struggled with different Dreyer films over the years and the pacing here– the sustained holds— I just had a hard time with that. I think my Ozu study in 2018 was a big step forward.
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