Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc

(Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc)
France 2017. Dir: Bruno Dumont. 106 min. DCP

“The triumph of this year’s Cannes.”
ADRIAN CURRY, MUBI NOTEBOOK

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! Dreyer, Bresson, Preminger, Rossellini, Rivette. With Jeannette, French iconoclast Bruno Dumont (La vie de Jésus, L’Humanité) joins the roll call of illustrious auteurs who’ve rendered the life of Joan of Arc in film — albeit never, ever before like this! His confounding new feature, runner-up in Cahiers du cinéma’s best of 2017 poll, depicts the typically-untapped preadolescence of the martyred heroine, from writings by French poet Charles Péguy. But Dumont, in a joyous, shapeshifting phase of his career, stages her spiritual awakening as a headbanging electro-metal musical (?!) — a conceit so baffling, so self-consciously anachronistic, so brazenly sui generis, one can’t help but submit to its mad-genius lunacy! Shot in the director’s regular haunt of northern France, and featuring non-actors, non-singers, and non-dancers acting, singing, and dancing (Dumont aims to abolish perfection in cinema), Jeannette is an exhilarating cinematic oddity of the first order. See it with Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc on April 29, 30 and May 2.


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Dr. Chelsea Birks will introduce the screening of Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc on April 27.

Dr. Birks is a sessional instructor in Film Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her research explores the intersections between film and philosophy, with a focus on conceptions of nature in contemporary cinema. She has previously published on Bruno Dumont and New French Extremism.

 

REVIEWS

“One of the true UFOs I have encountered in my ten years of Cannes attendance. So aberrant and ruthless is its pursuit of new forms of poetry, luminance, and madness that it can be (and very much has been) confused for cretinism itself.”

Filmmaker Magazine | full review

“Arguably the only film to come out of Cannes that could reasonably be considered radical ... Dumont is responsible for some of the most exhilaratingly alive cinema in the world right now.”

Cinema Scope | full review

NYT Critic’s Pick | "A film of genuine spiritual dimension."

New York Times | full review