A look back at this day in film history
October 21
October 25, 1928
Dreyer's Lost Passion

Today in 1928, Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer was in Paris for the premiere of The Passion of Joan of Arc. Written from actual trial transcripts, the film dramatizes the famed French teen’s emotional and spiritual ordeal at the hands of church fathers through a series of close ups, mostly of the film’s star Marie Falconetti. While it was Falconetti’s second and last film performance, it would be remembered, as New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael wrote, as maybe “the finest performance ever recorded on film." Beloved by some, banned by the British for many years, the original film was lost when its master negative was burned in a fire (a fate not unlike that of its heroine). Despite fruitless attempts to reconstruct the original film from outtakes, Dreyer went to his grave, believing his masterpiece was lost forever. And then, miraculously, in 1981 a complete print was found in an Oslo mental institution’s janitor’s closet.

More Flashbacks
FrancoisTruffaut October 21, 1984
François Truffaut dies

One of the central figures of the French New Wave, François Truffaut, died October 21, 1984.

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October 21, 1992
Savage Nights released

One of the earliest and most provocative cinematic treatments of AIDS was released October 21, 1992 in France.

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October 21, 1992
Long Journey into Night

Author-turned-director Cyril Collard’s HIV drama causes a furore on its release in France.

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