1928: The Powerful Psychology of the Close Up

Out of all the performances in silent cinema, why is Renee Falconetti’s performance in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 film, the Passion of Joan of Arc regarded as so powerful? The answer lies in the closeup. In this video essay, Charlie explores how the closeup has been used throughout cinema history in films like 12 Angry Men and Saving Private Ryan to change how the audience feels emotionally.




Criterion Collection