Jan Wahl

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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). Named the most influential film of all time at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, the classic film and its legendary director still exert strong influence even today. In 1955, Jan Wahl, an American student, had the extraordinary opportunity at the age of twenty to spend a unique and unforgettable summer with Dreyer as the director filmed Ordet or The Word (1955). 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.

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The University Press of Kentucky

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Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-3620-2 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-4052-0 (epub version)



Carl Theodor Dreyer, Ordet, The Word, Film, Director


Film and Media Studies | Mass Communication

Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ordet: My Summer with the Danish Filmmaker
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