1962 Recap and Ten Favorite Films

I have now watched 116 films that were released in 1962.  A complete list can be found here.  It was a strong year and I had 19 films for my favorites list.   They could have been sliced and diced in any number of ways – I aimed for a balance between List and non-List films.  The  films I reluctantly left off my Top Ten were: An Autumn Afternoon; Advise and Consent; Sanjuro; Gypsy; The Music Man; Jules and Jim; The Longest Day; Cape Fear; and Vive le tour .  The list is no particular order though Harakiri would remain at the top no matter how I compiled the list.

10.  A Long Day’s Journey Into Night – directed by Sidney Lumet

9.  Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – directed by Robert Aldrich

8.  The Days of Wine and Roses – directed by Blake Edwards

7.  Cleo from 5 to 7 – directed by Agnes Varda

6.  The Manchurian Candidate – directed by John Frankenheimer

5.  The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – directed by Tony Richardson

4.  To Kill a Mockingbird– directed by Robert Mulligan

3.  The Miracle Worker – directed by Arthur Penn

2.  Lawrence of Arabia – directed by David Lean

Harakiri – directed by Masaki Kobayashi

 

The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962)

The Trial of Joan of Arc (Procès de Jeanne d’Arc)
Directed by Robert Bresson
Written by Robert Bresson from the transcript of the trial
1962/France
Agnes Delahaie Productions
First viewing/FilmStruck

 

Jeanne d’Arc: My voices were from God. All I did, I did at God’s command. My voices did not lie. My visions were from God.

As with many of Bresson’s films, this is slow going but beautiful.

Most of the dialogue was taken from the actual transcript of Joan’s trial.  The English are, naturally, cast in a very bad light and possibly Bresson wrote the behind the scenes parts. The story concludes with Joan’s martyrdom at the stake.

Bresson directs in his usual “non-acting” style which is always distancing for me. Thankfully, the images were enough to keep me engaged.  I had never noticed before but, at least in this one, Bresson focuses a lot of his attention on feet, cutting off the heads and torsos of his actors while they are in motion.  His camera is much more lively than his actors or plot.