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The Nativity (1910)

La nativité (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Short | 11 November 1910 (France)
Louis Feuillade's retelling of the birth of Christ tells a different story than we're used to. When the Magi tells King Herod of the birth foretold, Herod first sends his emissaries and ... See full summary »

Director:

Louis Feuillade
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Cast

Credited cast:
Renée Carl
Nadette Darson Nadette Darson
Alice Tissot Alice Tissot
Maurice Vinot Maurice Vinot
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Storyline

Louis Feuillade's retelling of the birth of Christ tells a different story than we're used to. When the Magi tells King Herod of the birth foretold, Herod first sends his emissaries and then orders the death of the Christ child. Produced as part of the series "Le Film esthétique," which promised audiences films that were "visual first and foremost, not theatrical," THE NATIVITY is part religious spectacle and part Biblical thriller, produced on lavish sets that gave Feuillade the opportunity to stage scenes in deep focus. The shepherds, following the star of Bethlehem, enter from the background and advance toward the camera to take their place in the tableau around the manger, a device he returned to in his hit serial FANTOMAS. Feuillade and Gaumont were sued by painter Luc Olivier Merson, who accused them of plagiarizing his tableau "Le Repos en Egypte," which if nothing else inspired the unexpected final shot of THE NATIVITY. - Sean Axmaker

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Genres:

Drama | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 November 1910 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Nativity See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Angels We Have Heard On High
13 October 2010 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Louis Feuillade directs this short film -- a one-reeler -- from the perspective of the Magi, searching for the Christ.

Although Feuillade had already shown himself quite capable of working outside the proscenium arch, he emphasizes it here, not just with exterior, but interior masking: notice, if you will, high the broken fence in the first shot and the rocks in the second duplicate the relations of the stage although in smaller masking; it is only with the third shot that he fills the frame.

I venture to say that Feuillade did this deliberately, not simply because he was Gaumont's go-to director, turning out dozens of films a year, but because this was a nativity play, and the audience had already seen plenty of them on the stage and had expectations. If they wanted a stage production, Feuillade would give them one, complete with some very fancy costuming and only slightly-moderated gestures.


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