The Savior, Falling Leaves: Two By Alice Guy Blache

She who may have been the first female movie director, Alice Guy Blache, crafted the 1906 silent opus, The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ (the Resurrection is there too).  It’s only 30 minutes long and features many cast extras, filmed in naught but medium shots.  The first tableau shows us there is indeed no room in the inn (it’s emphatic), after which a second tableau presents the Christ child asleep while invisible angels provide a lullaby.  No pleasantness is provided at all, of course, when a farrago of exhausted cross-carrying and deep sorrow and anxiety fills the screen.  Minutes later, though, Guy Blache does well with a risen Jesus, in the air, leaving the coffin and the tomb wherein his corpse had been laid.

In the nigh 12-minute Falling Leaves (1912), Guy Blache does well again—the flick is sensibly shot—and we get to see the choice features of a bourgeois home and clothing in 1912.  But the movie whitewashes reality, and yet . . . oh well.  It is still quite a curio with some loveliness.

 

 

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