Nothing explicit. Slaves are displayed in the marketplace in an opening scene. A couple of female slaves’ nude forms are revealed to potential customers, but as the audience, a cloth fully covers them each time. Some scantily dressed people from time to time. A Roman scene depicts males wearing towels and swimming – again, nothing explicit. There are some references to things of a sexual nature.
Numerous kisses shared between starring protagonists.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


The world film obtained sound in the 32nd year (1927) and color in the 43rd year (1938). Since then, the colorful screen has shown countless moving stories for mankind. In the early 1950s, television began to popularize in the west, and attracted a large part of the audience from the cinema with its unique viewing forms such as economy and convenience. For the first time, films with a history of more than half a century are facing great challenges. The epic “holy robe for thousands of years” is the first film to answer the TV challenge.

Films before the early 1950s used ordinary screens that basically met the golden ratio. In 1927, Professor Henry cradean invented a lens that can shoot wide screen films of the simaskopp system. The next year, Claude udang laha of France tried this lens in his films. However, it was not until 1953 that producer Frank Ross and director Henry Custer really succeeded in using it effectively in this film. On the one hand, with the unique means of expression such as color wide screen and stereo, the creator declared the irreplaceable and constantly updated vitality of film art. On the other hand, the creator successfully explored the expression field of wide screen film pictures, and greatly enriched the expression means of film art with rich and colorful lens angles, motion forms and a large number of open composition.

The appreciation of this film should focus on its wide screen picture composition and audio-visual composition that made the audience refreshing at that time. However, as the first wide screen film, we can also get aesthetic enjoyment from many aspects, such as the drama structure, screen image depiction and open time and space.

The drama and narrative structure of the film draw lessons from the composition method of Fugue and symphony, which is composed of prologue, ending and four obvious narrative paragraphs. At the beginning of the film, a slow mixed chorus sounded, and the maroon curtain on the wide screen of the simaskopp system opened from the middle, showing a live drama of human history. The voice over introduces the historical background of the story: the apparent prosperity of the Roman Empire and the ugliness of slavery society. Then, the film describes the reunion of the hero and heroine Marcellus and Diana. The first paragraph focuses on the first separation of the hero and heroine, as well as what Marcellus saw and heard after he first arrived in Palestine, especially through the contact between the slave Demetrius and the local Christians and the crucifixion of Jesus, which shows the influence of Christianity as a new faith at that time. The second paragraph describes the return of Marcellus to Rome as a protector. The third paragraph shows that the protagonist arrives in Palestine again to investigate and destroy the growing Christianity there. The fourth paragraph describes that the protagonist returns to Rome again and finally dies for rescuing Demetrius and converting to Christianity. At the end of this climax, the heroine’s fearless spirit of returning to death was eulogized with optimistic strokes and beautiful music and painting.

There seems to be a lack of strict logical and dramatic connection between the third and fourth paragraphs of the film – it seems that Caligula should not transfer Marcellus, who has no political achievements in Jerusalem, back to Rome to perform the task of eliminating Christians, which has the same nature and goal. However, these four distinct paragraphs are connected into a narrative whole through the character development and substantive transformation of the protagonist Marcellus. The transformation of the protagonist is through two kinds of love as an opportunity and penetration. One is the unwavering love between Marcellus and Diana; The other is the holy love of Christians represented by Demetrius for Jesus and God. In addition to the story mentioned above, these two abstract concepts are mainly reflected through the vivid and meaningful concrete image of the holy robe. The holy robe appears repeatedly in the above four paragraphs, which always promotes the change of character and the dramatic development of the story. In the first paragraph, the holy robe is Marcellus’s “booty” and an important foreshadowing for the substantive transformation of his spiritual world. In the second paragraph, the holy robe is the main reason for his trembling and uneasiness. In the third paragraph, he rediscovered the slaves and holy robes lost when he left Jerusalem for the first time, and was moved by Christianity symbolized by holy robes. In the fourth paragraph, the holy robe finally became the holy flag of his own faith and finally died for the Christianity represented by this flag. The film shows a life experience of a Roman official from persecuting Christians to becoming a devout Christian, and the character changes are closely linked, natural and fascinating, which is indeed inseparable from the ingenious use of the above narrative structure and penetration methods.

Although the visual image and auditory image of Jesus Christ appear only four times in this film, without him, the narrative framework of the whole film will lose the basis of existence. Therefore, in addition to his holy robe as the penetration, the creator creatively uses the unique front and back scene depth composition, open composition, female singer singing poetry and the vivid testimony of Christians to express his screen image from multiple perspectives. When he led his disciples into the city of Jerusalem, the film used the composition method of putting Jesus and his disciples in the background and Demetrius and the cheering crowd in the foreground. Although the image of Jesus is only a big vision, it still vividly shows the unique charm of Jesus as the embodiment of a new faith through the scene of the crowd crowding around the screen in the chorus. In the performance of Jesus carrying the cross across the street, the film puts the inclined cross in the middle of the picture and Jesus’ head on the edge or even outside the picture, creating a suffocating sense of heaviness. When showing the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion, his upper body is always out of the picture. The audience can only associate the tragic scene of Jesus when he was crucified through the reflection lens of his disciples, relatives, soldiers and officials and the blood dripping on Marcellus’s hands, and express Jesus’ magnanimous mind through his voice over asking the heavenly father to forgive sinners on the cross. The scene of Jesus’ resurrection after death is expressed through the singing of female singers. At a local Christian gathering, a female Christian who saw the resurrection of Jesus with her own eyes created images that could arouse the rich imagination of the audience, such as the resurrection of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion, the appearance to the disciples and the “great mission” to them, through a recital style solo.

This time-space open singing paragraph not only shows the communication mode and development of early Christianity in content, but also appears in the form of music in the time-space of the picture, which effectively regulates the narrative rhythm of the film and greatly enhances the audio-visual appeal of the picture.

In addition to the examples mentioned above, the film has made many fruitful attempts to explore the composition method of the wide screen, especially the lateral long-distance moving lens, which is more spectacular than the composition of the ordinary screen. When Marcellus was sent to Jerusalem, he said goodbye to Diana on the pier. The film first turns into a busy ferry. In the background, the sky is inlaid with clamp clouds and the mountains are shrouded in mist; Diana appears in the background and walks to the foreground to hug and kiss her lover. Then, the boatman laid the cable, and the camera photographed the farewell crowd on the shore, skillfully creating the visual effect of “seeing the wind and waves flashing all over the eyes, looking at the mountain is like coming to meet. Looking at the mountain carefully, it’s not moving – it’s a boat”. When the hero rescued Demetrius and left the city gate in a white horse drawn car, he was chased by the brown horse team sent by the government. On the wide screen, the film not only shows the pursuit of both sides, but also shows a tense and intense specific situation through the subjective viewpoint of the characters and the upward lens of the carriage flying over the camera. In addition, the film also makes a lot of use of double close-up scenes that can only be expressed on a wide screen (the situation in which Diana visits Marcellus in prison and finally they both go to the execution ground) and the big scenes displayed from a high point of view (all sentient beings seen from Jesus’ point of view after Jesus was crucified).

It is undeniable that many pictures of this film still have traces of “filling in the blanks”. However, neither film historians nor ordinary audiences will deny its great achievements and important influence: just as Jesus Christ created a new era for mankind (history is divided into BC and BC based on his birth), the color wide screen film holy robe for thousands of years has also opened up a new field for film art. In 1954, the same company made a sister film Demetrius and gratiatus, which was adapted from the novel of the same name and the characters and materials provided by the film, showing the fate of the robe and Demetrius after the death of the protagonist Marcellus, as well as the development and deeper influence of Christianity in a wider range. It is still written by Dunne, Starring Victor Mathur.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here