Three Laws in Oxford brings together documentary film, narrative cinema techniques, and live performance to explore how the religious concerns of John Bale’s 16th-century morality play continue to echo in Oxford’s spaces today. You can watch the film in four self-contained sections that echo the organization of Bale’s play, below (each is about 5 minutes long). Or you can watch the full film if you scroll down; pop any of them out to full-screen size using the four arrow icon once you hit play. Jump to the EDOX Three Laws page for more on the project and this film.
Watch the Introduction to Three Laws in Oxford: university student and actor Alex Mills introduces John Bale’s play and gives an overview of its plot, with a little help from his mini-sized friends.
Watch Part 2 of Three Laws in Oxford, in which Alex asks about the many references to sodomy and clerical marriage in Bale’s play. Includes an interview with James McBain of Magdalen College and a sweaty scene between Sodomy, Idolatry, and Infidelity performed in the ruins of Oxfordshire’s Godstow Abbey.
Watch Part 3 of Three Laws in Oxford, which explores the Protestant ideal of the authority of the Word. Tensions and paint fly high as the Catholic vices scrawl images across God’s word, in a scene directed by Elisabeth Dutton. Dutton and Alex also take a walk through Magdalen College chapel, and discuss the Reformation-era changes to that space.
Watch Part 4 of Three Laws in Oxford, which focuses on the serious possibility of religious martyrdom in Bale’s day. Alex visits the Martyrs’ Memorial on St Giles in Oxford, and speaks with the vicar of University Church of St. Mary the Virgin where the martyrs were tried for heresy. The trial scene from Three Laws plays out in the pews and pulpit of the church, and the film ends with Alex trumpeting out the final lines of the play in the streets of the modern-day city.
Watch the full film in HD here:
Sarah Anson (Avaritia)
Claire Cordier (Sodomismus)
Lucie Dawkins (Evangelium)
Dominik Kracmar (Pseudodoctrina)
Alex Mills (Infidelitas)
Sam Plumb (Idolatria)
Producer: Elisabeth Dutton
Director: Maria Sachiko Cecire
Cinematography: Mark Jones
Editor: Mike LaRocco
Music: Mike Molaro
Production Assistants: Olivia Robinson, Céline Sidler, and Tamara Voegeli
The President and Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford
The Vicar and Staff of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford
Kieran Stiles, at Kieran Stiles Art Studios
The Magdalen Annual Fund
The John Fell Fund of the University of Oxford