Here's a question for Griffith defenders and detractors alike. As a
junior faculty member, I have had to teach our survey course in World Film
History and no doubt will have to again sometime; as someone with limited
interest in the formal aspects of film, I find teaching a text as racist
as _Birth of a Nation_, its formidable formal achievements
notwithstanding, unconscionable; as someone trained in cultural history, I
am deeply suspicious of the claims to its *uniqueness* as a formal
achievement, which is usually the apology offered for teaching it in spite
of its vile content; and, again as a cultural historian, I recoil
reflexively from the great-man vision of history implicit in the
valorization of Griffith. The problem is that Griffith's period is not my
area of expertise, so I ask you: what other films could give students a
sense of the development of classical narrative in the mid-teens without
subjecting them to Klan propoganda? Is there anything by Ince that might
do the job? (In fact, is there anything by Ince on video?) My syllabus
and I thank you in advance.
John R. Groch <[log in to unmask]> | "Work! FINISH! THEN sleep."
English Department/Film Studies Program | -- The Monster,
Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | "Bride of Frankenstein"