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May 1999, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 15 May 1999 08:37:46 EDT
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Subscribers might like to know that an unusual 2-part documentary on Griffith
is available from Creative Arts Television, POB 739, Kent, CT 06757.  $49.95
each plus $5 to ship.  Details follow:


First part of two part series on the great film director D.W. Griffith.  Ron
Mottram, professor of cinema history and director of the 1975 Griffith
retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City interviews silent
film star Blanche Sweet about her career and work with Griffith. Illustrated
with many  film clips and photographs.

Film excerpts include portions of "Death's Marathon", "The Painted Lady",
"Feud in the Kentucky Hills", "A Corner in Wheat", "The Informer", "Country
Doctor", all made in the early years when Griffith worked for the Biograph
company, 1908-1913.

Ms.Sweet starred in many of these films and reminisces about Griffith's
method of shooting. He invented as he went along. These films and dozens of
others were often turned out two or three a week, shown briefly, and then
never seen again. Some of these films include the first "pans", "zooms" or
"close ups" ever used. .
 1975, color, 27 mins


Second part of two part series on the great film director D.W. Griffith.  Ron
Mottram,  professor of cinema history and director of the Griffith
Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, 1975. Mottram here
interviews silent film star Lillian Gish about Griffith.

Film excerpts include portions of "Way Down East" (1920), "Intolerance"
(1916), "True Heart Susie" (1919) and "Birth of a Nation."  Ms. Gish
reminisces about the long hours, dangerous situations, and the presentation
of character without recourse to spoken dialogue.

Other topics: changes in Hollywood, how Griffith was always in money
difficulties, his unsuccessful career at Paramount --couldn't work with a
script, "things came from his own mind, " Paramount gave him "no free rein."
The plot element of the last minute rescue was created and perfected by
Griffith. His quiet scenes as good as his spectacles.  Homecoming themes
important to him.  How Griffith created historical film with great crowds of
1975, color, 27 mins

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