Cinema: Minimum Opus

Gertrud. The young art of film has produced few enough old masters, but any cinematic pantheon must make a place for Carl Dreyer, the Danish director whose reputation rests on a handful of somber, infrequent movie classics, among them The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and Day of Wrath (1943). Gertrud, made in 1964, is more museum piece than masterpiece, for this muted and stately study of a woman's quest for perfect love already seems to have been gathering dust for decades. It challenges the ingenuity of coterie critics to prove that any Dreyer movie will gleam like gold with...

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