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Dreyer's Penultimate Masterpiece,
This review is from: Ordet [VHS] (VHS Tape)
After his masterly The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Dreyer's output slowed down to around to about one film a decade. Joan and the films after it, Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943) and Gertrud (1964) are all monumental works that still retain their awesome power to this day.
It is to this group of late works that Ordet (The Word) belongs. It is a meditation on the power of love, faith and miracles set in rural Jutland. The story revolves around Johann, who has gone mad 'from reading too much Kierkegaard', and spends most of the film thinking that he is Jesus, and his heavily pregnant sister Inga. Johann gets in everyone's way, and seems unconcerned at the imminent birth of Inga's child.
I can't give away the ending. All I can say that it is one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema. The performaces beggar belief. Even thinking about it makes me cry.
If you've ever wondered why Dreyer is revered as one of cinema's all time greats watch this film. (He is Lars von Trier's favourite director, and his Breaking the Waves owes a clear debt to Dreyer)
Ordet will stay with you forever.