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ORDET

Denmark, 1955 (MIFF 1966, Programme 38)

Director: Carl Dreyer

Dreyer has on occassion been described as the Kafka of the cinema. Both artists are devoted to bizarre and exceptional settings, both are decidedly anti-realists. The mental conflicts which motivate their art evidently rest upon a common foundation. In Ordet, Dreyer gives us a modern morality.

The setting is a small outlying parish on the west coast of Jutland and the film follows the fortunes of a peasant family. One of the sons, a young theology student, after an intensive study of the New Testament and contemporary philosophers, loses his memory and believes that he is Christ come back to earth. . .

The film has controversial aspects, but, by any standards, is a highly accomplished work of cinematic art. The slow pace, the seeming simplicity of style, the low key lighting, all build up the atmosphere to a story which is profoundly moving. Ordet is a challenging film that cannot fail to provoke thought and discussion.

Grand Prix, Venice Festival.

See also...

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC

France, 1928
The most striking quality of Carl Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" is its uniqueness in that no film before or since has been made with such complete singleness of purpose, and few directors hav… More »

VAMPYR

France, 1931
Inspiration for the story of Vampyr is credited to Sheridan le Fanu's "In a Glass Darkly". but only one story 'Carniilla" bears any relationship to the film. Rather than from any particular literary … More »

A DAY OF WRATH

Denmark, 1943
Carl Dreyer, creator of Jeanne D'Arc and the fantastic Vampyr, is that very rare person in films today — a moralist, classicist, and an incorruptible artist. From the novel by Anne Pedersdotter… More »

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc

France, 1928
More »

GAMES OF LOVE AND LONELINESS

Sweden, 1977
This co-production between Norway and Sweden is the first film that Anja Breien has made since Wives. She has adapted a novel by Hjalmar Soderberg. who also wrote 'Gertrud' from which Carl Dreyer's l… More »

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