Carl Theodor Dreyer Collection

Carl Theodor Dreyer Collection


As the director of such classics as The Passion of Joan of Arc and Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer left a lasting impression in the world of cinema that will never be forgotten. Now Dreyer's remarkable work finally gets the attention it deserves as The Criterion Collection releases three of his best-known films in addition to an in-depthSee more details below

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As the director of such classics as The Passion of Joan of Arc and Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer left a lasting impression in the world of cinema that will never be forgotten. Now Dreyer's remarkable work finally gets the attention it deserves as The Criterion Collection releases three of his best-known films in addition to an in-depth documentary on the filmmaker. Each film in this collection is presented in its original aspect ratio and accompanied by Danish Dolby Digital Mono soundtracks with optional English-language subtitles. Bonus materials on Day of Wrath and Ordet include deleted footage from Torben Skjødt Jensen's documentary Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier and a stills gallery. Extras on Gertrud include deleted footage from Jensen's documentary Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier, archival footage from the production of Gertrud, and a stills gallery; and bonus materials for Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier include rare interview footage and archival materials, an extensive biographical essay by Dreyer scholar Edvin Kau, and a 22-page booklet that includes a reprint of Dreyer's essay "Thoughts on My Métier."

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
Widely acknowledged as Denmark's greatest director, Carl Dreyer was a filmmaker whose intermittent output reflected his perfectionist's fervor. His masterpieces, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and Vampyr (1932), established his command of the medium: He could wring tremendous power from pools of light and swaths of shadow. Beyond this stylistic stamp, Dreyer's unconventional way with actors came to the fore in Joan, particularly in his use of nonprofessionals (including Antonin Artaud) and his disregard for makeup. The breathtaking Maria Falconetti's chapped, stark transfiguration in Joan is one of the primal images of the movies.

Criterion Collection's Carl Theodor Dreyer Special Edition Box Set covers the master's less-noted but still significant sound period with three of his features -- Day of Wrath (1943), Ordet (The Word) (1955), and Gertrud (1964) -- and a biographical documentary, Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier (1995) that mimics Dreyer's crisp black-and-white visuals. "I'm not interesting, it's my films that are interesting," says Dreyer, a point which Métier refutes time and again through interviews with technicians, actors, and friends of the director. Taken with the three features, it is nothing less than an elegant portrait of a great artist's soul.

Day of Wrath (1943), Dreyer's second sound film, is set in the 17th century and traces two intersecting stories of repression and fear. One details the harrowing hunt for an old woman accused of being a witch and her subsequent torture and execution. The other follows Anna, the pretty, youthful second wife of an older pastor who seduces her stepson when he returns to their village. Dreyer's unhurried tracking shots, his feel for the period, and his blurring of good and evil result in one of the best and most subtle studies of belief ever filmed. Shot during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, Day is also a film with unmistakable political overtones. So, too, is Ordet (1955), whose events actually take place during the occupation years. This austere, dazzlingly strange movie chronicles the spiritual upheavals of farm family. Based on the life of a Danish pastor who famously refused to put Hitler before Jesus Christ, the son Johannes eventually descends into madness before meeting a genuinely miraculous end. The set (and Dreyer's feature career) closes with one of the most unstinting melodramas ever made, Gertrud (1965), which tends to shock even the most committed Dreyerites, although that's more a matter of style than content. The brisk plot ventures into familiar lost-soul territory: A woman (a slow-burning Nina Pens Rode), scrimmaging for love outside of her stagnant marriage, takes up with two men -- one a previous lover, the other a younger man. What's shocking, for Dreyer at least, is the absence of camera movement, replaced by a muted, fixed theatrical style that plays up the movie's stage origins. While Gertrud remains an acquired taste, those willing to stick with its limpid rhythms, intense visuals, and finely carved performances will find more than a rewarding movie. Like John Cassavetes' vast, wrenching swan song, Love Streams, it could change your life.

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Product Details

Release Date:
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[B&W, Full Frame, Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital, stereo, monaural]
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Special Features

New digital transfers of Dreyer features Ordet, Day of Wrath, and Gertrud, supervised by cinematographer Henning Bendtsen; Carl Th. Dreyer--My Métier, a documentary feature by Torben Skødt Jensen; extensive biographical essay by Dreyer scholar Edvin Kau; a 22-page booklet that includes "Thoughts on My Métier," an essay by Dreyer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Day of Wrath
1. Opening Titles [1:41]
2. Herlof's Marte [3:01]
3. Mother-in-Law [2:20]
4. Anne Meets Martin [1:51]
5. "The Maiden & the Apple Tree" [1:35]
6. Witchhunt [5:01]
7. "You Should Pray For Your Soul" [4:01]
8. Day of Wrath [:59]
9. Confession [6:02]
10. A Long Walk [1:37]
11. "I Don't Want to Burn" [2:02]
12. The Stake [4:45]
13. ."..Between God and Anne" [5:22]
14. "I Never Thought of That" [4:22]
15. Invocation [2:28]
16. The Birches [3:03]
17. "How Will This All End?" [6:50]
18. The River [1:57]
19. Master Laurentius [4:40]
20. Storm [7:28]
21. Absolon Returns [5:04]
22. "You Took My Youth" [3:12]
23. The Bog [2:31]
24. Keeping Vigil [5:15]
25. Eulogy [3:47]
26. Accusation [6:06]
27. Color Bars [:21]
Disc #2 -- My Metier
1. Introduction [2:32]
2. Early Life and Career [3:06]
3. Leaves From Satan's Book [3:39]
4. Master of the House [1:11]
5. The Passion of Joan of Arc [7:43]
6. Falconetti [2:31]
7. Vampyr [6:07]
8. Day of Wrath [5:33]
9. Phone Calls at Two A.M. [3:25]
10. Dreyer the Psycologist [4:09]
11. They Caught the Ferry [7:27]
12. The Jesus Project [:37]
13. Ordet [5:58]
14. Method Acting [1:57]
15. Henning Bendtsen [6:16]
16. "An Inner stubbornness" [7:18]
17. Gertrud [4:49]
18. "Typcial" Dreyer [2:13]
19. "The Truth Was in My Hand" [1:02]
20. Dreyer, Zen Master [4:36]
21. Paris [4:49]
22. A Danish Tailor [2:57]
23. End Credits [4:44]
24. Color Bars [2:26]
Disc #3 -- Gertrud
1. Opening Credits [1:25]
2. Minister Kanning? [6:39]
3. Mamma [3:51]
4. The Nature of the Universe [8:44]
5. Meeting by the Pond [3:08]
6. Duet [3:16]
7. Promises and Dreams [4:43]
8. Erland's Nocturne [5:47]
9. "Fidelio" [2:20]
10. "All My Love Awaits You Now" [2:44]
11. The Great Poet of Love [4:34]
12. Gabriel's Speech [2:37]
13. Gustav's Speech [1:55]
14. The Drawing Room [4:29]
15. "Where Were You Yesterday" [16:03]
16. Second Duet [2:47]
17. Second Meeting [8:21]
18. "Nothing's Like One Thinks" [7:21]
19. Flashback [2:38]
20. "In Vain" [5:33]
21. "Champagne?" [4:04]
22. Gustav's Solution [4:00]
23. The Hermit [2:14]
24. Amor Omnia [6:51]
25. Color Bars [:21]
Disc #4 -- Ordet
1. Borgen's Farm [4:20]
2. "Woe Unto You" [2:10]
3. Candles and Coffee [5:57]
4. Ye of Little Faith [1:50]
5. The Tailor's Daughter [3:20]
6. Johannes Interrupts [2:45]
7. Peasant's Pride [6:45]
8. Secret Miracles [3:00]
9. Peter Petersen, Tailor [3:34]
10. The New Parson Meets Johannes [4:42]
11. Peter's Answer [1:45]
12. "It Was Søren Kierkegaard" [2:06]
13. "Not Good Enough?" [5:13]
14. Prayer Meeting [3:26]
15. Awaiting the Doctor [1:21]
16. Two Fathers [5:42]
17. Religious Differences [5:32]
18. Labor Pains [5:20]
19. ."..But One Word" [2:00]
20. Little Maren [2:52]
21. "God, Do Not Send Death" [6:42]
22. Ora Et Labora [3:50]
23. The Scythe and the Hourglass [4:51]
24. "If You Have Faith..." [2:16]
25. John 13:33 [6:42]
26. The Other Cheek [3:12]
27. The Wake [1:56]
28. Eulogy [3:46]
29. Unexpected Visitors [4:29]
30. The Word [4:44]
31. Color Bars [9:09]

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