My Only Great Passion / Edition 320

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In an industry that celebrates extravagance and showmanship, Danish film director Carl Th. Dreyer was a rarity, a man who guarded his privacy fiercely and believed that film provided a way to understand human nature by focusing on the individual person. Best known for his 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc, dominated by its emotionally harrowing close-ups of Joan during her trial, it was Dreyer who pioneered some of the seminal techniques of modern film, techniques that would later be made famous by better known contemporaries such as Sergei Eisenstein and D.W. Griffith. Now, in My Only Great Passion, the first full-length English language biography of Dreyer, Jean and Dale D. Drum restore his reputation to its rightful place. Based on extensive and exclusive interviews with both Dreyer and the people who worked with him—including personal correspondence dating back to 1952—this biography provides the most comprehensive critical examination to date of both Dreyer's life and his approach to filmmaking. A valuable resource for film critics and historians, those in the film industry, and university cinema departments, as well as anyone with an interest in Danish art and culture, My Only Great Passion provides long neglected insights into the man who first raised European film above the level of entertainment and placed it in the realm of art.

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Editorial Reviews

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The book is very thoroughly researched...straight-forward, pleasant-to-read prose...should be regarded as a model for future career studies. Very highly recommended.
In addition to the eight, three-to-four-hour interviews with Dreyer (1889-1968), interviews with those who worked with him, and the viewing of all Dreyer's films (hard to see outside Denmark), the authors also learned Danish to research their book. The Drums characterize the director of as shy, soft-spoken, and endlessly courteous, yet realizing his will over every character's look and every camera's shot in a quiet, polite tyranny that made the people who worked for him to do it his way. A gallery of film stills occupies the middle of the book and a filmography of 14 features and 13 shorts, and a listing of 14 scripts of comes at the end. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810836792
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Series: Filmmakers Series, #68
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 320
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Drum is currently an adjunct professor at Golden West College after a long career teaching in the Garden Grove Unified School District. Dale D. Drum, who died in 1991, spent his career as a professor of Speech-Communication at California State University, Long Beach.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: A Stubbornness Wrapped Up in Mildness 1
1 A Copenhagen Childhood 5
2 Journalist and Airman 21
3 Learning His Art and Craft 37
4 Dreyer Goes Abroad 75
5 Further Experiments 97
6 First Real Success 115
7 Greatness and Tragedy 125
8 Film-Production Carl Dreyer 149
9 Interregnum 165
10 Two Films 183
11 Work in a Smaller Mode 205
12 Ordet 221
13 The Last Film 245
14 The End of a Dream 269
Filmography 303
Scripts 315
Bibliography 323
Index 325
About the Authors 329
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