The Life And Passion of Jesus Christ (1902 - 1905)
Original title: La vie et la passion de Jésus Christ
|Directors||Ferdinand Zecca , Lucien Nonguet|
(Short) The Passion Play
(Original) La vie et la passion de Jésus Christ
(Alternative) The Passion Play: Life and Death of Christ
(Alternative) Historie de Christ
(Short) Passion Pathé
(Short) Passion Zacca
(1903) Selig Polyscope Company
(Import) Pathé Frères
CategoriesBased on the Bible Biblical Drama Birth of Jesus Black and White Boy Jesus in Temple Cleansing of the Temple Death of Jesus Drama Entry into Jerusalem Feeding Five Thousand Flight to Egypt Jesus Appears to the Women Jesus Christ Jesus in Gethsemane Jesus Life Jesus Miracles Jesus Mocked and Flogged Resurrection Samaritan Woman Shepherds in the Field Short Silent Film St. Joseph St. Mary St. Veronica The Adoration of Infant Jesus The Annunciation The Betrayal by Judas The Burial of Jesus The Crucifixion The Last Supper The Nativity The Passion The Raising of Lazarus The Road to Golgotha The Trial Before Pilate The Wise Men Walking on Water Wedding at Cana DramaShortBased on the Bible, Biblical Drama, Birth of Jesus, Black and White, Boy Jesus in Temple, Cleansing of the Temple, Death of Jesus, Entry into Jerusalem, Feeding Five Thousand, Flight to Egypt, Jesus Appears to the Women, Jesus Christ, Jesus in Gethsemane, Jesus Life, Jesus Miracles, Jesus Mocked and Flogged, Resurrection, Samaritan Woman, Shepherds in the Field, Silent Film, St. Joseph, St. Mary, St. Veronica, The Adoration of Infant Jesus, The Annunciation, The Betrayal by Judas, The Burial of Jesus, The Crucifixion, The Last Supper, The Nativity, The Passion, The Raising of Lazarus, The Road to Golgotha, The Trial Before Pilate, The Wise Men, Walking on Water, Wedding at Cana
A silent movie about the story of Jesus Christ from the Nativity to the crucifixion.
Started in 1902 with the bulk of tableaux(some sources say 18), it was extended with additional tableaux in 1904, and then a few more were added in 1905 to form the finished film of 27 tableaux, and then later supplemented with even more so that it was 32 in the end. It has some early special effects, full costumes, and uniquely staged scenes with painted backdrops. Many of these were inspired by the famous Biblical woodcuts of Gustave Dore. The whole film is in the end really a collection of 27 short films that were independently released making a reshoot of individual scenes possible. We do not have the one end result because of the multiple clips, versions, and mix-up with the later and previous films. Instead, there were many versions and some are preserved. This early version is often confused with the more complete 1907 version of the movie, which is the one that is widely available on DVD today. There was also an earlier version of this Passion Play created somewhere in the range of 1897-1899, and there were versions that mixed scenes from this old with the newer one as well, so distinguishing which scene belongs to which version on some scenes can be a problem.
In 1903 Pathé developed the coloring of film with the help of stencils and this may be one of the first films to ever be colorized.
Both pioneering films on this DVD depict well known incidents in the life of Jesus Christ. In quite different ways, both were also ambitious milestones of the young, relatively untried cinema; both won world fame, huge audiences and a screen life of decades when most secular films of the time measured their commercial life in weeks. La Vie et la passion de Jesus-Christ was begun in 1902 by Ferdinand Zecca (1864-1947) for Pathe Freres in Paris, then the most important film company in the world. Zecca made 18 carefully costumed and staged tableaux against painted backdrops which are clearly influenced by the famous Biblical woodcuts of Gustave Dore (1866). In 1903, Pathe Freres developed up to four colors to each film print by a stencil process; that year and in 1904, ten new tableaux were added to the film. Finally, in 1905, Zecca's collaborator, Lucien Nonguet, added three final scenes, and the resulting color film of 31 tableaux with a running time of 44 minutes became the most impressive of its kind and one of the first long films in the world. Presented by missionaries and itinerant showmen from Indiana to Indochina, it helped establish the popular iconography of the Divine story. This edition is restored from two excellent 35mm original prints and presents The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ as it looked a century ago.
Source: DVD Synposis
The Pathé Supplement of April 1905 give us this description under the heading "En Terre Sainte - Jérusalem"(In the Holy Land - Jerusalem) that seems to mix the film and documentary scenes(translated):
- The Mount and the Garden of Olives.
- Solomon's Well.
- The mosque of Omar containing the rock of Abraham
- The 1st station, the gate where Jesus was presented to the people.
- The 3rd station where Jesus falls for the first time.
- The Holy Sepulchre.
- The Wailing Wall.
Peter, James, and John, sons of Zebedee, were so taken by the miracle that Jesus said to them: “Do not be afraid, come with me, you will be fishers of men”. From that moment, they left everything to follow him.
He appeared to them transfigured, his face resplendent like the sun, his clothes sparkling like snow. Moses and Elijah were kneeling before its splendour.
Now, at that moment, a luminous cloud having covered the mountain, God appeared and said to them: “This is my beloved son, in whom I have put all my affection; listen to him”.
The disciples, terrified, bowed their faces to the ground, but Jesus raised them up, making them promise not to tell anyone what they had seen.