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Ordet


  1. Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  2. Produced by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  3. Written by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  4. Music by: Poul Schierbeck
  5. Cinematography by: Henning Bendtsen
  6. Editing by: Edith Schlüssel
  7. Release Date: 1955
  8. Running Time: 126 min.
  9. Language: Danish

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

There have have now been six iterations of the Arts & Faith Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films. Of the five in which the results have been ranked, films by Carl Thedor Dreyer have topped four.  Until voters in 2020 chose to limit the Top 100 to one entry per director, Dreyer has had three films on every list and never failed to have two films ranked in the top six.

What is about the precise and and peculiar Danish director that makes him the patron saint of spiritual cinema? 

Although it spanned four decades, Dreyer's directorial career is defined by four films. Three of those -- Ordet, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Day of Wrath -- have explicitly religious characters grappling with what it means to be adherents and practitioners of an ancient faith as the worlds they live in feel increasingly distant from that faith's origins. But it is insufficient to explain Dreyer's popularity as being the consequence only of his subject matter. 

Neither is it enough to remind ourselves that Dreyer, like Bresson, Ozu, Tarkovsky, Scorsese, Bergman, and Malick, comes with the canonical accreditation associated with other, more prestigious endorsements. The Passion of Joan of Arc was named in the last Sight & Sound poll as one of the Top 10 films of all time. Paul Schrader, whose career-capping masterpiece, First Reformed, finds its own place in the upper echelon of this list, names Dreyer as one of the three directors who helped him name and explain the "Transcendental Style" of film. Schrader's longtime collaborator, Martin Scorsese, also places a film in our Top 10. From the scathing critique of Nazarin to the triumphant faith of Selma, from the the matter-of-fact miracle in Lourdes to the miraculous accomplishments of ordinary people in The Man Who Planted Trees or It's a Wonderful Life, the themes of so many of the films in the Top 100 are able to challenge and delight us in part because of the ways Dreyer's films have primed the pump of our imagination, have wooed and wowed us into spiritual contemplation.

What makes Dreyer the first stop in a journey of one hundred sublime cinematic steps? For this reviewer, it is his ability to unite in fraternity and admiration a group as varied in taste and ideology as the group that has chosen to pull up a chair to circle of discussion called Arts & Faith. Perhaps no one of us should try to express on his or her own why Dreyer is dear to all of us.

-- Kenneth R. Morefield


  1. Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  2. Produced by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  3. Written by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  4. Music by: Poul Schierbeck
  5. Cinematography by: Henning Bendtsen
  6. Editing by: Edith Schlüssel
  7. Release Date: 1955
  8. Running Time: 126 min.
  9. Language: Danish

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

There have have now been six iterations of the Arts & Faith Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films. Of the five in which the results have been ranked, films by Carl Thedor Dreyer have topped four.  Until voters in 2020 chose to limit the Top 100 to one entry per director, Dreyer has had three films on every list and never failed to have two films ranked in the top six.

What is about the precise and and peculiar Danish director that makes him the patron saint of spiritual cinema? 

Although it spanned four decades, Dreyer's directorial career is defined by four films. Three of those -- Ordet, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Day of Wrath -- have explicitly religious characters grappling with what it means to be adherents and practitioners of an ancient faith as the worlds they live in feel increasingly distant from that faith's origins. But it is insufficient to explain Dreyer's popularity as being the consequence only of his subject matter. 

Neither is it enough to remind ourselves that Dreyer, like Bresson, Ozu, Tarkovsky, Scorsese, Bergman, and Malick, comes with the canonical accreditation associated with other, more prestigious endorsements. The Passion of Joan of Arc was named in the last Sight & Sound poll as one of the Top 10 films of all time. Paul Schrader, whose career-capping masterpiece, First Reformed, finds its own place in the upper echelon of this list, names Dreyer as one of the three directors who helped him name and explain the "Transcendental Style" of film. Schrader's longtime collaborator, Martin Scorsese, also places a film in our Top 10. From the scathing critique of Nazarin to the triumphant faith of Selma, from the the matter-of-fact miracle in Lourdes to the miraculous accomplishments of ordinary people in The Man Who Planted Trees or It's a Wonderful Life, the themes of so many of the films in the Top 100 are able to challenge and delight us in part because of the ways Dreyer's films have primed the pump of our imagination, have wooed and wowed us into spiritual contemplation.

What makes Dreyer the first stop in a journey of one hundred sublime cinematic steps? For this reviewer, it is his ability to unite in fraternity and admiration a group as varied in taste and ideology as the group that has chosen to pull up a chair to circle of discussion called Arts & Faith. Perhaps no one of us should try to express on his or her own why Dreyer is dear to all of us.

-- Kenneth R. Morefield

There have have now been six iterations of the Arts & Faith Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films. Of the five in which the results have been ranked, films by Carl Thedor Dreyer have topped four.  Until voters in 2020 chose to limit the Top 100 to one entry per director, Dreyer has had three films on every list and never failed to have two films ranked in the top six.

What is about the precise and and peculiar Danish director that makes him the patron saint of spiritual cinema? 

Although it spanned four decades, Dreyer's directorial career is defined by four films. Three of those -- Ordet, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Day of Wrath -- have explicitly religious characters grappling with what it means to be adherents and practitioners of an ancient faith as the worlds they live in feel increasingly distant from that faith's origins. But it is insufficient to explain Dreyer's popularity as being the consequence only of his subject matter. 

Neither is it enough to remind ourselves that Dreyer, like Bresson, Ozu, Tarkovsky, Scorsese, Bergman, and Malick, comes with the canonical accreditation associated with other, more prestigious endorsements. The Passion of Joan of Arc was named in the last Sight & Sound poll as one of the Top 10 films of all time. Paul Schrader, whose career-capping masterpiece, First Reformed, finds its own place in the upper echelon of this list, names Dreyer as one of the three directors who helped him name and explain the "Transcendental Style" of film. Schrader's longtime collaborator, Martin Scorsese, also places a film in our Top 10. From the scathing critique of Nazarin to the triumphant faith of Selma, from the the matter-of-fact miracle in Lourdes to the miraculous accomplishments of ordinary people in The Man Who Planted Trees or It's a Wonderful Life, the themes of so many of the films in the Top 100 are able to challenge and delight us in part because of the ways Dreyer's films have primed the pump of our imagination, have wooed and wowed us into spiritual contemplation.

What makes Dreyer the first stop in a journey of one hundred sublime cinematic steps? For this reviewer, it is his ability to unite in fraternity and admiration a group as varied in taste and ideology as the group that has chosen to pull up a chair to circle of discussion called Arts & Faith. Perhaps no one of us should try to express on his or her own why Dreyer is dear to all of us.

-- Kenneth R. Morefield


  1. Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  2. Produced by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  3. Written by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  4. Music by: Poul Schierbeck
  5. Cinematography by: Henning Bendtsen
  6. Editing by: Edith Schlüssel
  7. Release Date: 1955
  8. Running Time: 126 min.
  9. Language: Danish

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix
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