JOAN OF ARC (1900)
aka Jeanne d’Arc
Article 4165 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Bleuette Barnon, Georges Melies, Jeanne d’Alcy
What it is: Biography of a saint
Joan of Arc is called on by visions of saints to help France defeat their English conquerors.
It might be interesting some time to make a list of real-life people whose life stories have qualified in one way or another for this series. This adds another one to the list, as the appearances of the saints to Joan does qualify as fantastic content, and the movie does include that scene, as well as a sequence at the end where we see Joan in heaven. This appears to have been a very ambitious project for its time; it runs over ten minutes. The movie is also hand-tinted, and has a narrator. One of the more interesting things about the latter is his tendency to go off on tangents about the movie itself, commenting on the appearance of Georges Melies in several different roles, as well as pointing out how the parade sequence used the same extras again and again (having them run around the back of the scenery to reappear), and even pointing out the Melies logo in the corner in one scene for copyright reasons. It’s more historically interesting than it is fun to watch, but it has its moments.