While this film will look extremely primitive to viewers today, for 1906 it was absolutely amazing. The life of Christ is told in a very archaic form, though the production values (for 1906) are shockingly good and quite expensive. It must have taken a lot of work to produce the film--with so many costumes, sets and live animals. When compared to the average film of the day, this is an incredibly complex film. And, at 33 minutes, it's a very, very long movie for the day. And, compared to the wonderful film of the director's countryman, Georges Méliès, the backgrounds were MUCH higher quality and construction--not just painted curtains. I was particularly impressed with Jesus' rising to Heaven near the end--very impressively done.
The biggest shortcoming, and I don't blame the director (Alice Guy) is the format. Instead of a typical narrative they would have used decades later, slides appear that tell what the next portion of Christ's life is and then you see some actors replicate the scene very briefly. It's tough going today, but it had to absolutely wow audiences at the time it was made.
For film historians, this is a must-see. Most non-film historians could probably pass on this one.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?