Who is Joan of Arc today – the embodiment of nationalistic ideas or a symbol of anarchy? Virgil Vernier seeks her in places where fiction infects reality and documentary is interlaced with myth. His camera investigates the city architecture, roams among groups of people, follows some, and peeks into nightclubs behind others. In one of those clubs, Vernier finds Joan, an erotic dancer. Is the removal of her clothes an act of desperation or the key gesture in a fight for domination? Will Jean experience a transformation when she goes to a fair celebrating ‘The Maid of Orléans’? The director strays with her among insinuations and multiplies questions, suggestively intersecting spiritual purity with sinful licentiousness, while light shimmies on film to show the stripper’s divine dimension.
Born in Paris in 1976. He studied philosophy, then arts at the fine arts school in Paris. His first film Karine (2001) combines allegory and realism, mythology and documentary. Later on he shot a contemporary adaptation of a Grimm’s fairy tale, Golden Bird (2004), Autoproduction (2009) and co-directed Police Station (2010) with Ilan Klipper. His short film about an ex-biker who is nostalgic for the old regime, Therminador, was selected for the 2009 Cannes IFF as part of the Directors’ Fortnight. Orleans (2012), his latest film, had its premiere in competition at Locarno IFF this year.
2004 L’oiseau d’Or / Golden Bird
2008 Thermidor (short)
2009 Autoproduction (doc.)
2010 Commissariat / Police Station (co-dir., doc.)
2010 Pandore (doc., short)
2012 Dziewice z Orleanu / Orléans / Orleans