Since we refuse to celebrate Halloween without a proper costume and this year caught us completely off guard, self-titled spent the past weekend avoiding the Ricky’s rush at not one, but two silent films that happened to feature haunting music for the holiday weekend. While one was a patience-testing take on Metropolis (watching a church organ wail for nearly three hours is a tad torturous), Lincoln Center‘s fully orchestrated presentation of The Passion of Joan of Arc was as seamless as live scores get, featuring movements that were as melancholic and moving as the images themselves.
Having never seen Carl Theodor Dreyer’s definitive piece of French cinema before, we didn’t expect much beyond lots of art-damaged camera angles, melodramatic facial expressions and a slightly disturbing ending that featured barbecued martyr. On the contrary, members of Portishead (Adrian Utley) and Goldfrapp (Will Gregory) led a sweeping orchestral score that left us captivated and a bit creeped out. Here are the notes that survived the evening:
Spindly chords and creeping, foamy keys
Clobbered by horns and chords
A tuba crying out in horror
“You are no daughter of God, you are Satan’s creature”
Why are they so concerned with the fact that she’s wearing a men’s clothing?
Camera rolling across room to scan crowd of toothless, pious men
Distortion and drums driving torture chamber
Cruel priests, obsessed with her CONFESSION
Eyes glazed over
Guitar cuts across the runaway comet
Can’t believe we used to do this to people
A doomy symphonic climax
“You burned a saint!”