An old jew, Isaac Laquedem, is condemned to roam the earth by Christ after he spat on Jesus on his road to Golgotha(and, in this film) refusing Him water. In this 13th-century myth(also called "The Eternal Jew"), he, a Jewish cobbler, walks, trips, gets up, falls, and then tries to sleep. In his dream, he relives the episode that sent him into exile. After successively meeting the devil and an angel he continues to walk throughout the earth in his eternal wandering(or until the Second Coming) with the elements raging around him. Méliès, know for his trick film pioneering cinema, show here that he master the effects and make full use of double exposure, stop motion, as well as background storm and lightning. It follows three tableaux, although the first contains two scenes. He also plays the role of the Jew himself.
The Wandering Jew (1904)
(Original) Le juif errant
(USA, 1905) Kleine Optical Company
Categories13. Century Angels Black and White Christian Mythology Drama Fantasy Jesus Christ Jew Myth Short Silent Film The Devil The Road to Golgotha Trick Film Vision DramaFantasyShort13. Century, Angels, Black and White, Christian Mythology, Jesus Christ, Jew, Myth, Silent Film, The Devil, The Road to Golgotha, Trick Film, Vision
I enjoyed this short film very much, as it feels complete and it's made by a Méliès who fully master his medium. I would say it's a more mature Méliès, able to tell a more complete and well-framed story with tricks that are spot on and not overdone. This film did not seem to be to show off the trickery, but rather it flowed into the storyline in a great way. The myth itself is a curious thing, a great topic, so I'm glad it made an occurrence in early cinema.