The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

D.W. Griffith Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 28,793
Neurons: 85,557
Location: Inside Farlex computers
D.W. Griffith

Griffith was an American film director best known for his controversial film The Birth of a Nation. Initially an actor, he sold film scenarios to the Biograph Company, which hired him as a director in 1908. In over 400 films for Biograph, he developed filmmaking as an art form with techniques such as the close-up and the scenic long shot, and he collaborated with cinematographer Billy Bitzer to create fade-out, fade-in, and soft-focus shots. In 1919, Griffith co-founded what film company? More...
Dialectrum
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 12:22:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/18/2012
Posts: 179
Neurons: 17,968
Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
Motion picture legend Charlie Chaplin called Griffith "The Teacher of us All".
S. Miranda-Hess
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:18:13 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 8/22/2014
Posts: 109
Neurons: 42,315
Location: Socorro, New Mexico, United States
I like it when they include historic pictures in their articles, such as the title screen from Birth of a Nation.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:06:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/22/2014
Posts: 2,292
Neurons: 2,582,305
Location: Lilyfield, New South Wales, Australia
Quote:
Griffith went to Artcraft (part of Paramount), then to First National (1919–1920). At the same time he founded United Artists, together with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. At United Artists, Griffith continued to make films, but never could achieve box office grosses as high as either The Birth of a Nation or Intolerance.


When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
curmudgeonine
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 9:59:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/23/2011
Posts: 567
Neurons: 170,308
Location: Orillia, Ontario, Canada
I'm so pleased that I remembered he co-founded United Artists with Chaplin, Pickford and others. I leaned that 35 years ago!
monamagda
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 11:02:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/4/2014
Posts: 7,397
Neurons: 5,526,580
Location: Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
Who really was Griffith........

Is there anyone today – any historian, any student of film, anyone with the least political sensitivity – who will dare to praise D.W. Griffith? The vicious racism of "The Birth of a Nation" prevents it from even being shown in most venues. The content of this one film, out of the more than 400 directed by Griffith, taints his entire oeuvre and prevents any kind of objective analysis of his films. In 1999, the Screen Directors’ Guild removed his name from their lifetime achievement award. Griffith remains the most reviled and detested film director in history, with the possible exception of Leni Riefenstahl.

Even the most flattering biography of Griffith, by Richard Schickel, describes his drunken, maudlin escapades after his star had fallen, his blind lack of business acumen, his unconscious but insidious racism, his self-defeating egomania.

Just as Americans typically laud Thomas Edison as the sole inventor of cinema, they credit Griffith with innovations such as the introduction of narrative film, the production of the first American feature film, the discovery of the close-up, and the evolution of other film techniques which were in place for years by the time he began directing. Griffith’s “innovations” were, in most cases, somewhat more effective uses of techniques already developed by others. He never graduated from primitive, full frontal framing in interior scenes and never employed a point-of-view shot in any of his films.

Griffith is judged today primarily from a political, not an aesthetic, standpoint. If we judge Griffith politically on the basis of one film, then it is only fair that we look at his entire oeuvre to see if it reflects any kind of coherent political viewpoint. And we can only do that if we view it in the light of the prevailing political points of view in early twentieth century America. In viewing Griffith’s films, we can see traces of William Jennings Bryan’s Populism in the nostalgia for a vanishing, small-town America, resentment of the wealthy and powerful, a pacifist viewpoint, prejudice and fear of African-Americans, and sympathy for the working class.


Worthy reading : http://sensesofcinema.com/2006/great-directors/griffith/
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:44:35 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/26/2014
Posts: 1,405
Neurons: 37,072
Location: Apache Junction, Arizona, United States
Was interesting work for the time....
nkelsey
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:41:10 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/9/2014
Posts: 491
Neurons: 192,145
Location: Apóstoles, Misiones, Argentina
Applause
Geeman
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:50:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2009
Posts: 1,788
Neurons: 125,022
Location: Whittier, California, United States
monamagda wrote:
Who really was Griffith........

If we judge Griffith politically on the basis of one film, then it is only fair that we look at his entire oeuvre to see if it reflects any kind of coherent political viewpoint. And we can only do that if we view it in the light of the prevailing political points of view in early twentieth century America. In viewing Griffith’s films, we can see traces of William Jennings Bryan’s Populism in the nostalgia for a vanishing, small-town America, resentment of the wealthy and powerful, a pacifist viewpoint, prejudice and fear of African-Americans, and sympathy for the working class.

Worthy reading : http://sensesofcinema.com/2006/great-directors/griffith/


I'll buy that to some extent, but to really come up with that take on Griffith one has to ignore that one film entirely... so, I think it fails on it's own logic. Like anyone, Griffith was a flawed human being. One of his flaws was that he put himself forth as a lexicographer of American values in a way that was shameful at the time (the reception of which was not nearly as positive as is consistently reported: web.uvic.ca/~ayh/Lenning.doc) and correctly viewed for what it is today. His next film, Intolerance, was essentially an apology for Birth of a Nation. And that's all well and good... but you have to take the bad with the good just as much as the good with the bad.
excaelis
Posted: Monday, September 15, 2014 9:54:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2010
Posts: 10,981
Neurons: 32,652
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
[quote=monamagda]Who really was Griffith........

Griffith remains the most reviled and detested film director in history, with the possible exception of Leni Riefenstahl.


I'd rather watch three hours of both of those than 25 minutes of Michael Bay.



Sanity is not statistical
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.