Prod.: Pathé 35mm. 61 m. D.: 3′ a 16 f/s. Col
In 1906 Pathé Frères underwent remarkable expansion, producing 236 films of all kinds, some of significant distinction. Scenes and dramatic subjects increased from the 18 of the previous year to 42, while the scènes comiques achieved the record figure of 126. Charles Pathé already had in mind the rental system, on the American pattern, which he was to inaugurate in 1907. In Paris and in the provinces permanent theatres were rapidly being established, attracting a new public, at first drawn from the middle classes, and then from the great bourgeoisie. The flowering of the firm made prodigious steps in extending its activities to other countries. Naturally the length of the films was destined progressively to increase, though in the preceding years quite long films had been seen, like the famous Au pays noir and La poule aux oeufs d’or. This programme and that presented offer a good representation of the activity of Pathé in 1906.
Vie et Passion de Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ was produced by the Pathé Frères company between the end of 1906 and the first months of 1907. Directed by Lucien Nonguet under the supervision of Ferdinand Zecca – the best talents at Pathé – it benefited from the photographic effects of Segundo de Chomón, and is divided into four parts: Birth of Jesus, Childhood of Jesus, Mir- acles and Public Life, Passion and Death. Of particular fascination, and a sign of the prestige of the production, is the use of colour. The Pathécolor system, in which the colour is automatically applied to the positive film with the use of special stencils, produces results of extraordinary precision.