One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on ... See full summary »
1. THE ANNUNCIATION. The Angel of the Lord appears to Mary, announcing the birth of a child, which shall be called the "Son of God." 2. THE STRANGE STAR. Led by the light of the strange new... See full summary »
Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »
George S. Fleming,
Edwin S. Porter
James H. White
Four prisoners, in convicts' stripes, march backwards down stairs and, under the watchful eyes of guards, hop backwards into their cells. Later, one overpowers a guard and springs his three... See full summary »
A combination gambling den and bawdy house is set up so that croupiers, patrons, prostitutes, and the owner can quickly change it all into a mercantile establishment when the cops stage a ... See full summary »
Fantômas makes it as the emperor of Crime. First is the robbery at the Royal Palace Hotel. Then he abducts Lord Beltham. As Fantômas' fame increases actor Valgrand creates the rôle of ... See full summary »
Scientists from all over the world are meeting to discuss the best way to reach the North Pole. Professor Maboul demonstrates for them the innovative equipment that he has designed for the ... See full summary »
Depicting well-known incidents in the life of Jesus Christ, this milestone of early cinema won world fame, huge audiences and a screen life of decades when most secular films of the time measured their commercial life in weeks.
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.
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