Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet: My Summer with the Danish Filmmaker

Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet: My Summer with the Danish Filmmaker

by Jan Wahl


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Regarded by many filmmakers and critics as one of the greatest directors in cinema history, Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968) achieved worldwide acclaim after the debut of his masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), which was named the most influential film of all time at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. In 1955 Dreyer granted twenty-three-year-old American student Jan Wahl the extraordinary opportunity to spend a unique and unforgettable summer with him during the filming of Ordet (The Word [1955]).

Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet: My Summer with the Danish Filmmaker is a captivating account of Wahl's time with the director, based on Wahl's daily journal accounts and transcriptions of his conversations with Dreyer. Offering a glimpse into the filmmaker's world, Wahl fashions a portrait of Dreyer as a man, mentor, friend, and director. Wahl's unique and charming account is supplemented by exquisite photos of the filming and by selections from Dreyer's papers, including his notes on film style, his introduction for the actors before the filming of Ordet, and a visionary lecture he delivered at Edinburgh. Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet details one student's remarkable experiences with a legendary director and the unlikely bond formed over a summer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813136189
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 03/14/2012
Series: Screen Classics Series
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jan Wahl is the author of more than one hundred books for all ages. His books include How the Children Stopped the Wars, The Art Collector, Through a Lens Darkly, and DEAR STINKPOT: Letters From Louise Brooks. He lives in Toledo, OH.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 Pastries at Rungsted 7

2 Small room with a view 17

3 Sardines and cigars 25

4 Lambs in the front yard 35

5 A feeling for atmosphere 43

6 The rain and the fiddle 51

7 Magic of the lens 57

8 Something about Jesus 63

9 In the end is my beginning 71

10 The word that crushes cliffs 75

11 Leaves from a journal 81

12 Did they catch the ferry? 91

Afterword 95

Appendix A "Now the life will begin": Dreyer's introduction for actors in the film 99

Appendix B Plot summary of Ordet 103

Appendix C Letters from Denmark 109

Appendix D Dreyer on color film 119

Appendix E Dreyer's lecture at Edinburgh: "New Impulses" 125

Appendix F Dreyer on film style 135

Filmography 145

Index 155

Customer Reviews