Dreyer, Carl Theodor (1889–1968) By Oveisy, Fouad
Carl Theodor Dreyer was a journalist, theatre critic, scriptwriter and film director born and brought up in Copenhagen. It is difficult to speak of a narratological or stylistic consistency throughout Dreyer’s oeuvre, particularly in regard to his late films, which comprise the bulk of his canon. Nevertheless, in their acute concern with aesthetic self-reflection, his late films have acquired the title of minor early modernist masterpieces (Schamus 2008, 3). The films feature aporetic narrative logic, circular and/or tableau mise-en-scène, and nonlinear/disruptive treatment of cinematic space and time. Dreyer is also renowned for his meticulous approach to filmmaking, distinguishing him as one of the first auteurs of cinema. It is a well-established fact that Renée Jeanne Falconetti, the actress of The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), suffered from a mental breakdown at the completion of the film’s shooting due to the excessive demands and constraints put on her acting by Dreyer.