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 »
In Part Two of Louis Feuillade's 5 1/2-hour epic follows FantÃ'mas, the criminal lord of Paris, master of disguise, the creeping assassin in black, as he is pursued by the equally resourceful Inspector Juve.
After a body disappears from inside the prison, a series of crimes take place, all seemingly by the dead man. With Juve presumed dead, Fandor must investigate alone. Will Fantomas finally be brought to justice?
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
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.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this