A man in a silk top hat stands in front of an empty aquarium. He pours water into his hat and goes fishing, hooking a small one. He becomes a hobo and catches more and more fish from the ... See full summary »
The background of this picture represents a scene along the beautiful river Seine in Paris. A gentleman enters, and taking a blackboard from the side of the picture, he draws on it a sketch... See full summary »
In a public place in Constantinople at the corner of a bazaar, the executioner is seated upon a stone and is resting from his daily labors while eating a crust of bread. Suddenly there come... See full summary »
A traveler is shown to a room in an inn. After a brief dispute with the hostess and a porter, he is left to himself. But strange things begin to happen in his room, and before long he has ... 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 »
It's hard to really understand this film unless you turn on the optional commentary track. It begins with an old Jewish man struggling as he walks. You learn, through the use of a double-exposure, that the man witnessed Christ being led to the crucifixion and refused him water. Now, he's cursed to wander through eternity--and there is no let up to his misery. He sees what he's done repeatedly, is attacked by Satan and the elements conspire against him--all in repayment for his sin.
While the set appears very crudely done (almost quaint), this is the norm for 1904--and that is why it all appears very stagy. But, it makes nice use of the double-exposure and is decent for its time.
I wondered, however, if this was film was perhaps based on some folk tale (I've never heard of it). So I checked and found the story began sometime around the 13th century and the man was cursed to do this until Christ's second coming. Perhaps this story was created to explain the displaced Jewish people (who had no homeland for almost 1900 years) or was in some way antisemitic--I have no idea. But here in the States, it's a story I would assume very, very few would recognize.
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