Movie Poster Du Jour: “The Passion of Joan of Arc”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

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This poster for Dreyer’s “Joan” must be one of the earliest products of Boris Konstantinovitch Bilinsky’s cinema advertising company, Alboris, founded just a few months prior to the film’s Parisian opening in October 1928. A Russian expat and modernist designer extraordinaire, Bilinsky was a favored poster creator of major European directors of the ’20s. His posters for Lang’s “Metropolis” are some of the most iconic of that era. Though this “Joan” design conveys little of the anguish or heat of the picture — or of Falconetti’s unforgettable performance — it does manage to do justice to its gravity and austerity; the unprinted expanses of paper cleverly convey the layered minimalism of Dreyer’s painstakingly constructed sets. The weirdest aspect of the design: the relegation of Falconetti’s Joan to a supporting role. Instead, it’s Joan’s inquisitor who dominates. His figure looms over the praying girl with a craggy-faced superiority that’s familiar to anyone who’s endured the movie.

Related

  • A terrific appreciation of Boris Bilinsky’s poster design work. Note the compositional similarity between this poster and Bilinsky’s design for “Father Sergius.”
  • Another nice appreciation of Bilinsky.
  • A look at some of the other posters produced for the original “Joan” campaign.

About Fabrizio del Wrongo

Recovering liberal arts major. Unrepentant movie nut. Aspiring boozehound.
This entry was posted in Commercial art, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Movie Poster Du Jour: “The Passion of Joan of Arc”

  1. Faze says:

    Having recently “endured” Dreyer’s “Joan of Arc”, I was struck by the fact that he constructed the whole story out of faces. It cuts from one face to another, to another. The minimal sets are often noted. Less often have I read about narrative commitment to the human face.

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    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      Yeah, it’s gotta be the most close-up-intensive movie ever made . . . though the recent “Blue is the Warmest Color” gives it a run for its money.

      Did you like “Joan”? It’s a favorite of mine. I wrote “endured” because, in my experience, it’s a trying movie for some people. Definitely not the kind of thing you watch placidly, or have a tepid opinion on.

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  4. René Clémenti-Bilinsky says:

    Helle. I Would like to get into touch with Fabrizio del Wrongo.
    My name is Rene Clementi-Bilinsky and I am Boris’s grandson. Please write to clementi.bilinsky@voila.fr

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