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Adam and Eve Light Show

Date produced:

Filmmaker(s):

Kenneth Anthony

Description:

"This experimental film, made by Kenneth Anthony in the late 1960s, records the story of Adam and Eve. It opens with chimpanzees and recreates Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Man. The production follows the traditional telling of the Biblical creation story. Eve accepts an apple, gives it to Adam, and God rebukes the two humans. The rest of the film is a collection of shots: a protest march, a swimsuit competition in a beauty pageant, a demolition derby, a Foreign Legion ceremony, indications of space exploration, and a photography exhibit, among others. These shots may not have been filmed by Anthony and may have been stock footage as they appear to include words in French. According to Anthony, the film was meant to be projected on multiple screens. It seems likely that the story of Adam and Eve would have been on a main screen with the shots from the latter half of the film projected onto accompanying screen or screens" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.


Book of Ruth, The

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

C. Manley DeBevoise

Description:

"In the best tradition of filming technique, a movie should be an independent story telling medium. It should not require explanation or demonstration to make its meaning clear. Yet, there is no reason why this cardinal principle should not be violated, if the variation from accepted technique serves an artistic purpose. The Book of Ruth, by G. Manley DeBevoise, involves a new departure from tradition, for the film itself is an illustration in motion of the Biblical story, rather than a complete dramatization of the story. The tale is told by a narrator in synchronism with the appearance of the scenes on the screen, and, without the narration, the movie would be incomprehensible. Yet the two form a perfect unit which resents a fuller interpretation of the story of Ruth than would be possible by any other means. Costuming and selection of properties for this film are excellent and accurate. A church group worked for months in research to avoid anachronisms. The result is a splendid religious teaching film. The narration is given in person, and music is carefully scored by double turntable." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 636.


Cura Alavés, Un [An Alavese Priest]

Date produced: 1975

Filmmaker(s):

José Ramón Aguirrezabal

Description:

Un cura preocupado de que una pareja viva en el mismo hogar sin estar casados, pide un milagro. Reza para que alguien en la pareja se enferme a fin de que valoren la vida y entiendan la necesidad de seguir los preceptos de su religión.

A priest concerned with a couple living together without being married, asks for a miracle. He prays for someone in the couple to become ill so that they will value life and the need to follow the precepts of religion.


Eurynome

Date produced: 1970

Filmmaker(s):

John Straiton

Description:

"An exceptional portrayal of the world's creation, from a barren landscape to the emergence of the Woman and the Serpent, ending with Society as we know it. The film is technically unsurpassed in plasticine animation." Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.


Give Us This Day

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

Alfred T. Bartlett

Description:

"Going back to The Lord's Prayer for the title of his picture, A. T. Bartlett has produced a handsome, heart-warming and technically able documentary on the theme "Our Daily Bread." In it one follows the staff of life from the vast and golden wheat fields of Australia, through the harvesting and milling of the grain, into the baker's hands and onto my lady's table. Give Us This Day is intelligently planned, smoothly developed and suavely executed. A simple but satisfying narrative continually relates the subject — as it should be — directly to human needs, and a pleasant musical score rounds out the presentation. Especially to be commended is the minimum of footage used by Mr. Bartlett in reporting on this age-old activity of mankind." Movie Makers, Dec. 1952, 339.


In the Beginning [1935]

Date produced: 1935

Filmmaker(s):

Fred C. Ells

Description:

"In the Beginning, although far from being a perfect picture, is nevertheless one of the few truly great films thus far to come from a motion picture camera — either theatrical or amateur. Here, the magnificent beauty and awesome strangeness of the natural world have been seen in their fundamental and ultimate meanings. As an interpretation of the epic story of creation, In the Beginning follows directly in the noble tradition of Homer, Dante and Milton. One is left stilled and humble before the simple purity of imagination which conceived it. To this superb document of nature, F. C. Ells, ACL, the producer, has brought a technical skill and sensitive craftsmanship more than equal to the demands of his subject. Using as his titles direct quotations from the first chapter of Genesis, Mr. Ells has added a subtle undertone to the beautiful King James English by the use of primitive, geometrical symbols (indicative of fire, rain, infinity, etc.) for his title backgrounds. Somber and stunning scenes of the heaving waters, the new born earth and bursting streams in the first reel are followed, in the second, by flawlessly executed telephoto and macroscopic studies of the earth's myriad creatures. Integrating the entire production is a musical accompaniment of stately church music, recorded on disc by the Sistine Choir. Mr. Ells, who has looked upon the earth and found it good, has produced a sincere and beautiful film, great even as it falls short of perfection." Movie Makers, Dec. 1935, 550.


In the Beginning [1942]

Date produced: 1942

Filmmaker(s):

Fred C. Ells

Description:

"In the Beginning is a title that appears for the second time in these lists, for this film is a new version of a picture by the same name that was produced in 1935 by Fred C. Ells. The first picture was filmed in black and white when Mr. Ells was working in Japan, and the second picture was made in color in this country. In the Beginning tells, with extraordinary beauty, the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis, and it is climaxed by the creation of man and his works. It is a symphonic film of water, earth and of nature, graced by the cinematic skill and artistry familiar to all who have seen Mr. Ells's work. He has the gift of exquisite motion picture composition and distinctive choice of precise subject matter to which, in this picture, is added a unique control of color. Some of the scenes of birds forming moving patterns on the sand are astonishing, both in composition and in color effect. Back lighting, slow motion and the telephoto lens are tools that Mr. Ells uses frequently, but never for their obvious effect. They are but part of the magic by which he takes his audience back to the days of Creation." Movie Makers, Dec. 1942, 506.


Lot in Sodom

Date produced: 1932

Filmmaker(s):

James Sibley Watson

Melville Webber

Description:

"Lot, two reels 35mm., produced by Dr. James S. Watson, jr., ACL, and Melville Webber, may be said to be as much of an advance in motion picture technique over Fall of the House of Usher, their earlier production, as that film was an advance over standard professional cinematography. There are very few cinematographers in the world who have devoted the whole of their efforts to experimentation with the motion picture as an art medium and, in the opinion of Movie Makers' staff, there is none who has achieved the signal results of these two. Lot represents a complete innovation, not only in the treatment of the theme as a whole, but in the cinematic interpretation of the sequences. In it, the familiar tools of the advanced cinematographer, multiple exposure, trick printing, complicated lighting, symbolism, models and models in combination with life size sets are used to secure an entirely new and very beautiful cinematic representation of the Biblical story. In Lot these two amateurs have mastered the world of illusion of the motion picture but, in doing so, they have produced more than a mere novelty; they have founded a new cinematic art." Movie Makers, Dec. 1932, 538.

An avant-garde retelling of the biblical story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom (from the Book of Genesis, chapters 17-19), this film was controversial for its nudity and homoerotic overtones. (D.J. Duffy)


Nativity, The

Date produced: 1954

Filmmaker(s):

Sal Pizzo

Description:

"Everybody has religion of some kind, of some creed. But to try to portray it in motion pictures takes courage in any language your faith. In The Nativity, Sal Pizzo has picture the story of the birth of Christ with unerring good taste, complete reverence and warm beauty. In it he follows old Biblical paintings as a pattern, but he animates these tableaux in a natural manner. One might wish, in fact, that he had followed them even further and used lighting to suggest halos around Mother and Babe. The long-shot model of the town of Bethlehem is believable. The bearded faces of the innkeepers are believable and, a great achievement, the costumes of the opulent kings are believable. The acting is handled with admirable restraint, the story being carried by the words of familiar Christian carols of background music. Especially well-staged are the scenes of the shepherds around their fires and of the Magi as they present their gifts to the Child in the humble manger. Mr. Pizzo and his associates have planned and executed a picture on a subject that few if any would dare to attempt. They are to be congratulated on their tender and moving triumph" PSA Journal, Jan. 1955, 50.


Still Waters

Date produced: 1938

Filmmaker(s):

Fred C. Ells

Description:

"Working still in the same lyric mood which inspired In The Beginning and Consider The Lilies (place winners of earlier years), Fred C. Ells has turned this year to the Twenty Third Psalm for the theme of Still Waters. In it, to use his own words, he has tried "to bring to mind some of the beauties of the natural world, and to make the spectator conscious in some small way of the mysterious, wonderfully planned creation in which we live. The picture is pure lyric from start to finish, with no more continuity than a love song." Mr. Ells has, on occasion, been thrillingly successful in fulfilling this high charge, bringing to the screen some of the most stirring beauty it would seem possible to recreate. The cumulative effect of the relatively short study, however, is weakened by imperfect technique in the preparation of the Biblical title wordings." Movie Makers, Dec. 1938, 620.


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