Some religions boast a great many adherents, while others have a modest membership. Yet de - spite the variation in numbers this book aims to represent (if not include) all religious peoples around the globe. The world religions are surveyed roughly in geographical order around the globe beginning and ending in the “ circum Pacific,” which includes land on the Asian and American sides of the Pacific Ocean. There is no perfect way to arrange world religions in a sequence. Yet there is a kind of geographical and even cultural logic in moving from Oceania “eastward” around the globe winding up finally in Japan. This Asian Pacific point of origin and return reinforces Japan’s ancestral connections to both mainland Asians and Malayo- Polynesians. It also traces the Africans of Latin America to their roots on African continent, exposes the cultural link between the Zoroastrian and Vedic (early Hindu) traditions, follows the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Roads, and observes the outflow of Chinese culture into Korea and Japan.
Joan the Woman (Cardinal Film Corporation, 1916) was Cecil B. DeMille's first great spectacle. In keeping with theatrical tradition, DeMille sought a more formal and stylized mode of acting from stars Geraldine Farrar and Wallace Reid - a technique he continued in his late historical films. Wilfred Buckland's art direction is outstanding, and DeMille's social comments are subtle but biting. The film also features a dramatic hand-colored climax utilizing the Handschiegl stencil-color process.
The film became a prototype for DeMille's later spectacles. His handling of the large battle scenes (with the aid of seventeen cameras and a small army of assistant directors, including William deMille, George Melford and Donald Crisp) was exceptional - equal to D.W. Griffith's work in The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. The real strength of the picture, however, is found in the director's provocatively compelling images:
At Joan's trial by torture, officials the Church are clad in white hooded robes with black holes for eyes. DeMille frames his shot so that the top of Cauchon's mitre is out of frame, and he looks like a black-clad grand dragon of the invisible empire surrounded by Klansmen and hiding behind a crucifix rather than a bishop of the Church. The empty town square. An executioner drives a single horse cart piled with kindling to lay around the stake where Joan will meet her death. A lone dog is the only living thing, barking a futile protest. As Joan is led to the stake, the Bishop Cauchon seizes her ornate crucifix, and as the flames surround her, Eric Trent hands Joan a handmade cross of simple twigs that she carries to her death. Ultimately, in an effort to get more performances per day, the picture was drastically cut very early in the run. This DVD release offers DeMille's director's cut and the original hand-colored climax. William Furst's original 1916 score is performed by Christian Elliott at the J. Ross Reed Wurlitzer, Sexson Auditorium, Pasadena, California.
The Birth of World's Religions
The world’s major religions and philosophies have their origins in ancient civilizations – and while much has changed since then, countless millions of people through history have maintained a faith and belief in religious principles and teachings that have remained unchanged for millennia. This charming program on the origins, sacred texts and beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam is an ideal introduction to the topic.