Essential Dreyer

DREYER. The art of list-making is still the craze. Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" lands as number one on TIFF's canon of 100 must-sees, showcased this fall as a celebration of the brand new Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

Name the most influential films of all time! This proposal was put out to TIFF experts and devoted audiences, resulting in the Essential 100 – 100 films from around the world, 100 must-sees – that will run from late September until the end of the year at Toronto International Film Festival's new headquarters, Bell Lightbox.

Dreyer and Trier

Top of the list is "The Passion of Joan of Arc", Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent masterpiece from 1928. Playing 28 and 29 September, the film offers the Toronto audience a taste of Dreyer's singular direction. The story of the French peasant girl Jeanne who suffered martyr death is in Dreyer's hands an intense psychological drama focusing on the confrontation between Jeanne and the judges.


A new website on the Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer invites audiences to explore the full extent of Dreyer's ingenious art through a rich collection of original material and fresh perspectives contributed by Danish and international advocates of the filmmaker’s legacy.

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Further down the list is "Breaking the Waves" (no. 94), Lars von Trier's controversial drama from 1996 about Beth, whose pure faith works miracles in the midst of a small Scottish coastal village. The film is the first in Trier's socalled Golden Heart Trilogy, encompassing "The Idiots" (1998) and "Dancer in the Dark" (2000).

Alongside the film series, Bell Lightbox is host to an exhibition of material related to the films: stills, posters, clips and film-industry mementos.

The Passion of Joan of Arc / screening times
28 and 29 September

Breaking the Waves / screening times
14 November

Essential 100, from 23 September