Friday, April 17, 2009


"Von Trier owes his entire painful career to his Danish countryman Carl Dreyer, particularly his silent classic The Passion Of Joan Of Arc, which deals with the ultimate case of a woman suffering for her faith. What makes the film difficult to watch isn't so much Joan's persecution at the hands of her ecclesiastical tormentors, or even Maria Falconetti's famously expressive performance, which registers her anguish in every crevice of her face. Its disturbing intensity comes mainly from Dreyer's refusal to play by the rules: Defying the most basic tenets of cinematic grammar, which require filmmakers to establish spatial relationship on a 180-degree plane, Dreyer instead constructs the film as a series of extreme close-ups, with little sense of where the characters are in relation to one another. That disorientation, combined with the feverish emotions whipped up by the trial, places viewers in a grim psychic space."

The Onion A.V. Club, "24 Great Films Too Painful To Watch Twice"
The rest of the list?

1. Requiem For A Dream (Aronofsky)
2. Dancer In The Dark (von Trier)
3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
4. The Seventh Continent (Haneke)
5. Winter Light (Bergman)
6. Bad Lieutenant (Ferrara)
7. Straw Dogs (Peckinpah)
8. Audition (Takashi Miike)
9. Sick (Dick)
10. Come and See (Klimov)
11. In a Year of 13 Moons (Fassbinder)
12. Safe (Haynes)
13. Irreversible (Noe)
14. Boys Don't Cry (Peirce)
15. Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata)
16. When the Wind Blows (Murakami)
17. Leaving Las Vegas (Figgis)
18. Jonestown (Nelson)
19. S-21 (Rithy Panh)
20. The Last House on the Left (Craven)

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