• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Early Bible Film Screenings

    UCL is hosting a second day's worth of silent historical films. The Ancient World in Silent Cinema will take place at London's Bloomsbury Theatre on Monday 22nd June and is free to anyone interested in attending. The first such event featured films set in ancient Greece & Rome; here the focus switches to Biblical and Egyptian films. In addition to screening 19 silent films, several of which I hadn't actually of, there are also 3 talks from David Mayer (Manchester University), Margaret Malamud (State University of New Mexico), and Judith Buchanan (York University). The full timetable is as follows:
    Wanted a Mummy (UK 1910) 4 mins
    Sposa del Nilo/ The Bride of the Nile (IT 1911) 11 mins
    Vergine di Babilonia / The Virgin of Babylon (IT 1910) 9 mins
    Caïn et Abel / Cain and Abel (FR 1911) 5 mins
    Sacra Bibbia / The Sacred Bible (IT 1920), episode of ‘The Story of Joseph in Egypt’ 9 mins.
    Moïse sauvé des eaux / Moses Saved from the River (Fr 1910) 8 mins
    L’exode (FR 1910) 13 mins
    La vie de Moïse (FR 1910) interspersed with Life of Moses (US 1909-10) 13 mins
    Jephthah’s Daughter (US 1909) 6 mins
    Jephthah’s Daughter (US 1913) 25 mins


    SPEAKERS (4.30-6PM)
    David Mayer, Margaret Malamud and Judith Buchanan

    Samson et Dalila (FR 1902) 3 mins
    Samson (FR 1908) 11 mins
    David et Goliath (FR 1910) 8 mins
    Reine de Saba / Queen of Sheba (FR 1913) 19 mins
    Giuditta e Oloferne (IT 1908) 6 mins
    Judith (FR 1910) 8 mins
    Aveugle de Jérusalem / The Blind Man of Jerusalem (FR 1909) 8 mins
    Vie de Jesus (FR 1905-14) 8 mins, episodes from childhood to transfiguration
    Vie de Jesus (FR 1905-14) 18 mins, episodes from annunciation to ascension
    I've got my train tickets booked for the event, and I know of at least one visitor to this blog who is also going. If anyone else decides to attend, please do come and say hello.

    I've spoken to the event's organiser and though it's not possible to book tickets, they are fairlky confident that the 500 seat theatre will not sell out. I was also told that whilst the talks are informal and, thus, without specific titles, Mayer will be speaking about the films' relationships with other 19th century art forms, Malamud will be covering ancient Egypt and its reception more broadly at the beginning of the 20th century, and Buchanan will talk on the Jesus and Judith films.

    Those of you that would love to join us, but sadly live on the other side of the world, will be pleased to know that the The Ancient World in Silent Cinema Research Project (of which this event is a part) is hoping to secure funding to digitise these films and eventually release a DVD, though this is still a very long way off.



    • At 6:12 am, May 31, 2009, Blogger Kevin C. Neece said…

      Wow! I'd love to go to this, but of course I won't be able to. I'm very curious about the two Jesus films listed. I'm expecting that the 18-minute film is one of the early versions of "The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ" that I have, but I could be wrong. I'm also very curious to see what the 8-minute film is. I hope you can make a detailed report!

    • At 10:29 am, June 15, 2009, Blogger Matt Page said…

      My thought was that they are 2 parts of the same film. Did your dissertation/thesis every get put online, cos you guys should make contact.


    • At 12:07 am, June 16, 2009, Blogger Kevin C. Neece said…

      Seems that way to me as well, but they have images from "Life and Passion," so I'm wondering if that's what these are - more fragmented parts of that film's journey? Or it cold be something else entirely. If so, this is really intriguing, as is "L'Aveugle de Jérusalem"! I envy you sincerely, sir. ;)

      No, the thesis is not online. Its earliest form from 2004 is, but that's all. At this point, I've started tinkering with it again, so it's in "work in progress" mode once more. I sent the completed one to you, didn't I?


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