Carl Th. Dreyer—My Métier works on three aesthetic levels playing off each other.
Shot in 35mm black and white, the documentary’s narrative is rich in content. The participants in these pieces are the actors, film crew, and colleagues who have worked with Dreyer: Birgitte Federspiel, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Lisbeth Movin, Axel Strøbye, Baard Owe, Henning Bendtsen, and Jørgen Roos. In addition, Hélène Falconetti, daughter of the renowned Falconetti, discusses her mother’s role in The Passion of Joan of Arc.
The second level, consisting of clips from Dreyer’s films, exemplifies the statements in the documentary.
I think of the third level as that of the expressive narrative. Running like a scarlet thread throughout are Dreyer’s own statements on his vocation as a filmmaker, his passion, his aesthetic principles, and his language, intertwined with my own personal pictorial adaptation as an expressively symbolic explosion of images. Hypnosis, repetition, abstraction. My understanding of Dreyer is drawn from his concrete legacy of stills, sketches, letters, manuscripts, clips from films, etc., primarily derived from the Danish Film Museum collection.
At this point I am turning away from the history books and combining the myth with the present day. Here lies the film’s applicability to both a sympathetic audience and present day artists. Here the legacy of Dreyer unites with our time and our world.The scarlet thread can be considered my “film political manifesto.”