The Life And Passion of Jesus Christ (1906 - 1907)
Original title: Vie et Passion de N.S Jésus-Christ
|Ferdinand Zecca , Segundo de Chomón
(Original) Vie et Passion de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ
(Short) Life and Passion of Christ
(Alternative) Passion Play
(Original) Vie et Passion de N.S Jésus-Christ
(Short) Passion Pathé
(DVD) Image Entertainment
(1907) Pathé Frères
(Importer) Pathé Frères
After the success of Alice Guy-Blaché’s "The Birth, Life and Death of Christ" from 1906 Ferdinand Zecca went into works of refilming his 1902-1905 films for "Life and Passion of Jesus Christ". That resulted in this version. This is the DVD released version of the film, although most pages say it is the 1903 version wich it's based on. The first part, "The Birth of Jesus", was released at the end of 1906, whilst the rest was released in full four parts in 1907 (some claim that there were five parts). A shorter version was also released in 1908. The four parts are "Birth of Jesus", "The childhood of Jesus", "Miracles and Public Life" and "Passion and death of Jesus". If one divides the movie into scenes, the previous 27 has here been expanded into 31.
Birth of Jesus (Naissance de Jésus)
The Birth of Jesus was presented at the Omnia Pathé, Paris, at the end of 1906 and at the Nouvel Alcazar, Lyon, on 1.3.1907, accompanied by Noël d'Adam, sung by the tenor Boulaz.
Childhood of Jesus (Enfance)
Miracles and Public Life of Jesus (Miracles et vie)
The Passion and Death (Passion et mort)
I've been doing a lot of research on this movie and looked at a lot of frames from it until I finally took the 44 minutes and actually watched it, and, I must say, it is a much better experience than I imagined. Everything is better moving than the single frames, and the scenes themselves are a lot of takes compared to older movies where each scene consisted of one take. Each scene was a bit longer than I anticipated. I found it fascinating how one can track moviemaking innovation in how much more a movie showed in 1907 than only a few years before. The scope of the movie is also good, covering many parts of Jesus' life and much more than mainly the Passion. Even nonbiblical depictions of Jesus' childhood are present which was oddly satisfying to watch. The coloring(probably from a later date than 1907) also adds to the story a lot - emphasizing important effects. This is a very well preserved feature of the time(which speaks of its popularity) and we are lucky to have it, as well as it's nice to see it released in multiple DVD versions. Definitely worth a watch.