Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ

La Vie et la Passion de Jésus Christ (The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ) is a silent film first released in 1903.

The wikipedia article links to the film embedded below:

It's hard for me to be sure, but this film may be the same as the film La Passion de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ (1905) listed on the Vatican's "Best Films" list.

It begins with the Annunciation and ends with the Ascension. There is some beautiful hand-tinted color in some of the scenes. In the scene of Jesus walking on water it shows him rising straight up from under the waves to walk on the surface. The Resurrection also shows him rising straight up, this time from a hole in the ground that has been uncovered by angels. After the Ascension it shows Jesus sitting down on the right side of his throned Father in the presence of the saints in Heaven with the disciples on earth looking up at the scene. The film has Veronica in it. The credits at the end title this film The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and say it was produced in 1902 and expanded in 1905. Zecca and Nonguet are named as directors. There are scene titles but no other inter-titles and no sub-titles.

Bible Films Blog has a post. DecentFilms.com has an overview:
the Life and Passion’s very staginess and pageant-like nature have a timeless quality that encourages reflection on the gospel events themselves. Individual tableaux are visually composed to resemble sacred art

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