Rita Pardue's Sound Mind

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc

Studio G and the never-ending possibilities...

The task at hand today is producing an underwriting spot for Grand Performances’ upcoming Film Fest, August 7 and 8 featuring The Passion of Joan of Arc, a silent film produced in France in 1928. La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc is widely regarded as Danish director, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s finest achievement and one of the greatest films of all time. Dreyer recreates the trial and execution of St. Joan with near-documentary authenticity, as if one were present at the actual 15th century event. The director's use of huge, probing close-ups -- detailing every pockmark and even the saliva at the sides of the mouths is amazing. Joan, Renee Maria Falconetti, gives an incredible performance.

What especially stood out at the time when this film was made was the film's camera work and emphasis on the actors' facial features. Dreyer shot a great deal of the film in close-up and did not allow his actors to wear makeup. He thought it was a better way to tell the story through their expressions—this choice was made possible through use of developed panchromatic film, which recorded skin tones in a naturalistic manner.

The music that will be featured during this Grand Performance screening of La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc will be electronic composer and multi-instrumentalist George Sarah. He has been a mainstay on the Los Angeles music scene since 1985. Sarah has achieved spiraling fame and garnered huge critical acclaim for his unique brand of electronic chamber music. Sarah performs his original compositions from a bank of synthesizers and drum machines alongside a trio of live strings, bridging the normally discrete musical worlds of electronic and classical.

George Sarah has scored 28 episodes the Discovery network and his songs have been featured on the hit CBS shows "CSI" and CSI NY, the Oprah Winfrey show, HBO’s “Addiction” "History Detectives" on PBS, Chris Rock's "Everybody hates Chris" and has frequently appeared along with his string trio performing his songs on the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Three Episodes), and has had his music played on Buffy spin-off Angel. His music has been featured on MTV"s "Road Rules" and "Undressed", Showtime's Next episode and in eight feature films and documentary’s including “Bra Boys” narrated by Russell Crowe and “On the line” featuring Susan Sarandon and Martin Sheen. For more information on the upcoming screening/performance, go to http://grandperformances.org

(Audio is Grand Performances underwriting spot voiced by Minnesoita MPR talent, John Zech, with music bed written and performed by electronic composer, George Sarah.)

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