Uploaded on Apr 7, 2007
DW GRIFFITH BY IRA H. GALLEN
It was an era that laid the foundation upon which was built the Golden Age of Cinema; an era whose development and advancement of the moving picture as an art form was inextricably tied to one man's creative and innovative genius.
The man's name is D. W. Griffith--David Wark Griffith--and his story is that of the period between 1908 and 1913 when he created a method of storytelling in purely cinematic terms that was to raise the moving picture permanently out of the category of a scientific curiosity.
This he did by the use of techniques that broke precedents and created a vocabulary of visual devices for the emergence of film as art as well as by the development of a stock company of actors and actresses with him at the American Mutuscope and Biograph Company in New York, who would later emerge as some of the greatest individual talents during the glory years of the Golden Age
David Wark Griffith's film creation, THE BIRTH OF A NATION, was to make history and achieve immortality when released in 1914. With THE BIRTH, Griffith was to bring together the words "art" and "film" as a permanent equation for the first time. Only five years after his initial explorations into the then crude world of moving picture images, his epic, THE BIRTH, was both an historical creation as well as a history making event in its own right.
The American artist, whom the world would come to recognize simply as D.W. Griffith, became as much a household name as any of his creations on film, and for him the status of "genius" was to be given; a father figure in the birth of film art. To describe "genius" in finite terms as it applies to the methods of D.W. Griffith is to seek after that which is beyond precise definition. He felt degraded by motion pictures and therefore sought to raise the level of the medium by breaking all of the conventions and existing practices of filmmaking as they then existed.
Despite the overwhelming importance of D.W. Griffith to the development of cinema art; his name, his work and the work of those who helped him create his moving pictures have become a generally unknown commodity amongst the American public.
(400 DVD TITLES)
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