Wednesday, October 03, 2007

1920's Cinema and Catholicism

Last weekend I fulfilled a lifelong ambition by watching the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur immediately after having seen the 1959 epic. It was a brilliant film with very Catholic undertones. It begins with the Nativity of Our Lord and what makes it so Catholic for me is the portrayal of Our Lady, She is beautiful, and it is all black and white until Our Lord is born when it suddenly goes into the most glorious colour with incredible light effects. Light rises from the manger and Our Lady has a very bright halo. Later on Our Lord is referred to as Son of God and Son of Mary, you wouldn't find these titles used in Hollywood films today. The 1959 version obviously retained to religious imagery but with a more Protestant twang and it got me thinking what a modern version would be like, it would probably remove all Christian references completely for fear of offending the Muslims.

1 comment:

RomanCatholic Deacon said...

You are right about the older version. It is quite awesome to watch and without sound, very meditative! I'm very lucky to own a copy of this film and can view it often. Ah! The good "Old Days"! Will they ever return? Our Lady says they will in Her apparitions, so there is hope for us humans after all!