Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet
My Summer with the Danish Filmmaker
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Regarded by many filmmakers and critics as one of the greatest directors in cinema history, Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889--1968) achieved worldwide acclaim after the debut of his masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), which was named the most influential film of all time at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. In 1955 Dreyer granted twenty-three-year-old American student Jan Wahl the extraordinary opportunity to spend a unique and unforgettable summer with him during the filming of Ordet ( The Word ).
Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet: My Summer with the Danish Filmmaker is a captivating account of Wahl's time with the director, based on Wahl's daily journal accounts and transcriptions of his conversations with Dreyer. Offering a glimpse into the filmmaker's world, Wahl fashions a portrait of Dreyer as a man, mentor, friend, and director. Wahl's unique and charming account is supplemented by exquisite photos of the filming and by selections from Dreyer's papers, including his notes on film style, his introduction for the actors before the filming of Ordet, and a visionary lecture he delivered at Edinburgh. Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet details one student's remarkable experiences with a legendary director and the unlikely bond formed over a summer.
""Jan Wahl has written a very personal account far from the usual run of 'film studies,' yet all the more fascinating and instructive in that it might be the sketch for another Dreyer film about the novice and the master. This is non-fiction but at its best it reads like a story."--David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" --
""Jan Wahl has given lovers of cinema around the globe an incredible gift: an intimate portrait of Carl Theodor Dreyer at work and at play. Wahl provides the reader with remarkable detail and extraordinary insights into Dreyer's working methods and his generosity of spirit. His account of the making of Ordet only strengthens our admiration for Dreyer's astonishing film." -- Matthew H. Bernstein, Emory University" --
""Jan Wahl has written a very personal account far from the usual run of 'film studies,' yet all the more fascinating and instructive in that it might be the sketch for another Dreyer film about the novice and the master. This is non-fiction but at its best it reads like a story." --David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" --
""A touching account of his encounter with one of the great silent directors who survived into the talking age."-- Shepherd Express" --
"" Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet: My Summer With the Danish Filmmaker -- with its fascinating descriptions of the director's intentions for his great dream project -- comes as one of the most welcome film books of the year."-- Hollywood Reporter" --