The Silents of Jesus in the Early Cinema

  • Year: 2015
  • Publisher: Routledge

While Jesus has been a star attraction at the cinema since the epics of the 1950s, it is often forgotten that between the advent of motion pictures in the 1890s and the close of the ‘silent’ era at the end of the 1920s, some of the longest, most expensive, and most popular films on both sides of the Atlantic were focused on the Life and Passion of the Christ. Drawing upon rarely seen archival footage and the work of the era’s most important directors, such as Alice Guy, Ferdinand Zecca, Sidney Olcott, D.W. Griffith, and C.B. DeMille, this volume offers a representative survey of the Silents of Jesus, illustrating the ways in which a host of cinematic Saviors not only shaped the cinema, but were shaped by it. Featuring essays written by leading scholars in biblical and early film studies using a variety of approaches, this collection offers a seminal treatment of the genesis and evolution of the cinematic Jesus.

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