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Instruments of History: Cecil B. DeMille's "Joan the Woman"

Part of our continuing partnership with the online film journal cléo, which guest programs a film to watch on Mubi in the United States. In conjunction, we'll be hosting an exclusive article by one of their contributors. This month Mallory Andrews writes on Cecil B. DeMille's Joan the Woman (1916), now showing through December 15, 2015.It’s a bit of a shame that Cecil B. DeMille’s two-hour 1916 silent film will likely always be overshadowed by Carl Theodor Dreyer’s indelible The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). The universal praise for Dreyer’s intimate take on La Pucelle is well-earned and full of images that remain some of the most moving uses of close-ups in cinema. By contrast, Joan the Woman (being a typical DeMille joint) is concerned more with epic, operatic imagery. The climactic Battle of Orleans is teeming with detail, an elaborate scope that pushes at the boundaries of the square Academy ratio frame,

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