D.W. Griffith: Father of Film (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

D.W. Griffith: Father of Film (1993)





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Two of the most renowned film historian-archivists, Kevin Brownlow (Abel Gance's Napoleon) and David Gill, team up for this epic three-part documentary on the rise and fall of David Wark "D.W." Griffith, still widely regarded by many as the most brilliant and intuitive filmmaker in modern history. Brownlow and Gill draw on meticulously-chosen film clips to illustrate how Griffith virtually reinvented filmmaking from 1908-1916, during his tenure at the Biograph film studios, courtesy of revolutionary advancements in cinematographic and acting techniques that enabled him to single-handedly define film grammar. Gill and Brownlow reveal how this culminated in Griffith's technically marvelous yet morally indefensible epic The Birth of a Nation (1915), an ironic development given Hollywood's complete abandonment of Griffith with the advent of sound. Revealing interviews with heavyweights including Lillian Gish, Karl Brown, Blanche Sweet, cinematographer Stanley Cortez and others supplement the material.


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Audience Reviews for D.W. Griffith: Father of Film

This documentary is a great way to learn about D.W. Griffith, the father of American film. His most commercially successful film, "Birth of a Nation," was a reprehensible attack on black folks and a disgusting celebration of the Ku Klux Klan. But Griffith made 100 other films, none of which have such retrograde content. There is no doubt that he was a cinematic genius, and countless people followed in his footsteps. If you are looking to expand your knowledge of early film, this three-hour documentary is highly recommended. (It is available on one disc from Netflix.)

William Dunmyer
William Dunmyer

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