Stefan Wesołowski | Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir | The Passion of Joan of Arc
All the great words ever said about Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc ring true. This cinematic masterpiece not only deserves every accolade and laurel but also beckons for regular revisitation and further interpretations. That’s why we extend an invitation to Timeless Film Festival Warsaw, where you can experience the transcendental sublimity that cinema, coupled with live music, can evoke. On April 8, 2024, the Warsaw Philharmonic will host the premiere performance of Stefan Wesolowski’s original music composed for Dreyer’s masterpiece for the festival. The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, composed of several dozen musicians, will present the culmination of months of dedicated work by the artist.
The musician admitted: “creating a new score for The Passion of Joan of Arc is in several ways the biggest and most exciting venture I have undertaken. (…) I’m still working on it, but I’m aiming for the audience to feel the immense power of the story organically during the screening of the film, to experience the pain and emotion, as well as the simple satisfaction of interacting with outstanding cinema.”
In an alternate reality, little would have happened, and the world might never have fully known one of the most significant films ever created. We would then discuss it in the manner reserved for gems like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis or Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, whose complete versions are likely lost to time. However, fortune smiles upon us, granting the opportunity to engage with a narrative that pierces through the thickest skin, reaching into the very core of our being. The Passion of Joan of Arc stands as a flawless masterpiece, universally compelling in its perfection, regardless of one’s stance on religion. At its heart lies the pulsating presence of Renée Jeanne Falconetti in the lead role, whose profound dedication – both as an actress and as the character to her own beliefs – manifests in the myriad expressions shimmering on her face. This work serves as a “historical document from before the era of cinema,” as Jean Cocteau eloquently phrased it, a tribute to a mythologized character miraculously brought to life before our eyes.
Stefan Wesołowski, the composer, violinist, and music producer from Gdańsk and a graduate of the French Académie Musicale de Villecroze, is among the most talented and versatile artists of the young generation. His work blends classical music with electronics in his work, evident in his three highly acclaimed solo albums and as co-founder of the duo Nanook of the North. In collaboration with Piotr Kaliński, they performed live the music they composed for the famous film Nanook of the North, directed by Robert J. Flaherty.
An integral facet of Wesołowski’s artistic repertoire is composing film music. Notable works include the soundtrack for the BAFTA-nominated documentary Listen to Me Marlon by Stevan Riley, Love Express. The Disappearance Of Walerian Borowczyk, and Escape to the Silver Globe by Kuba Mikurda. In 2021, he wrote the original soundtrack for Nathalie Biancheri’s Wolf, starring Lily-Rose Depp and George MacKay, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The latest production with his music is Minghun, directed by Jan P. Matuszyński.
April 8, 2024
The Passion of Joan of Arc
La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc
Films Sans Frontières
COPY / EVENT TYPE
the pinnacle of silent cinema – and perhaps of the cinema itself— Jonathan Rosenbaum
Renée Jeanne Falconetti (Joan of Arc), Eugène Silvain (bishop Pierre Cauchon), André Berley (Jean d’Estivet), Maurice Schutz (Nicolas Loyseleur), Antonin Artaud (judge), Michel Simon (Jean Lemaître)
Joseph Delteil, Carl Theodor Dreyer
Rudolph Maté (black & white)
Marguerite Beaugé, Carl Theodor Dreyer
Jean Hugo, Hermann Warm
#21 on the list of The Greatest Films of All Time by “Sight & Sound”