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 »
An account of the life of Jesus Christ, based on the books of the New Testament: After Jesus' birth is foretold to his parents, he is born in Bethlehem, and is visited by shepherds and wise... 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.
A short film depicting the execution of Mary, Queen of the Scots. Mary is brought to the execution block and made to kneel down with her neck over it. The executioner lifts his axe ready to... See full summary »
Two travellers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventuly experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to hell and roasts him ... See full summary »
Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ, The (1906)
*** (out of 4)
This ambitious French film is often overlooked when people discuss epics but you pretty much have to consider this one considering most movies of this era were running under nine-minutes but this one here lasts a whopping thirty-three. The movie tells the story of Christ in twenty-one different "chapters" and it's quite an ambitious little film even if the end results really aren't as good as one would have hoped. I think film buffs will certainly find this thing to be of interest but I think those who enjoy religious movies will also find this thing curious. I think the biggest problem is that the movie is extremely uneven because of the style the story is told. We will get a title card telling us what the chapter is called and then we'll see the images. Some of these chapters (like caring the cross) will run upwards of a minute but there are some (Jesus Sleeping) that only last a few seconds. I'm really not sure why some of the sequences here were included at all when some of the bigger parts (Judas) are left a little short. Another minor problem is that Guy never moves the camera in the movie, which takes away from some of the dramatic moments. Even though this was a few years away from Griffith, folks like Porter were doing a better job with the camera than what's on display here. One key sequence where this is noticeable is when they talk about Jesus and his pain of being on the cross yet the camera is so far back that you can never see his face, which is clearly what we were suppose to be looking at. What does work are many of the costumes and the art design isn't too bad either. I think there were a few effective moments including the Resurrection as well as the sequence where the cross becomes too much and Jesus falls to the floor. While the film is certainly creaky in spots there's no denying that at the same time it's highly impressive just for the effort.
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