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ENTERTAINMENT
September 2, 1995 | MARK CHALON SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Child abuse has often been a subject for modern filmmakers, but it was nearly taboo in the silent era. D.W. Griffith, perhaps the greatest director of his day, was one of the few to put such violence on screen. In 1919, he released "Broken Blossoms," about a girl, her brutal father and the compassionate Chinese man who loves her. It was much acclaimed. The movie, which launches Chapman University's free "Chapman Film Classics" series Tuesday night, is one of Griffith's most persuasive movies.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2009 | Kenneth Turan
No, it's not a personal appearance by the legendary director, long since gone to his reward, but an unusual chance to see six of the great man's one-reel pre-World War I shorts, all shot in Southern California: "Man's Genesis," "The New Dress," "The Massacre," "The Unchanging Sea," "The Sands of Dee" and "The Female of the Species." Not only will they be projected on the big screen, they will feature live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick and a talk by the University of Chicago's Tom Gunning, the top academic expert on Griffith's work.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 1986 | KEVIN THOMAS, Times Staff Writer
Paolo and Vittorio Taviani want to make clear that their first English language film, "Good Morning, Babylon," is not about D. W. Griffith, although he is a major character. "It's about two young men who come to America, and it's about art old and new," said Paolo through the brothers' interpreter, Oscar-winning costume designer Melina Canonero, the film's co-producer. "It could be subtitled 'Pray for the Cinema,' " added Vittorio.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2009 | Tim Page, Page writes for the Washington Post.
The director D.W. Griffith (1875-1948) is probably best remembered for his 1915 epic, "The Birth of a Nation," the most ambitious and commercially successful film made in the United States to that point. Unfortunately, the drama, about the Civil War and Reconstruction, is so appallingly racist in its depiction of African Americans that it is difficult and distasteful to sit through, and contemporary viewers may be forgiven for wondering at Griffith's exalted reputation.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 1990 | GREG BRAXTON, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Birth of a Legend: Film pioneer D. W. Griffith is the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary--and eyewitness accounts are being sought. "We're looking for anyone who worked with him, or knew him," says Joe Adamson, spokesman for filmmakers Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. The duo is currently in Kentucky, tracing Griffith's Southern heritage. "Griffith's father fought in the Civil War. That profoundly affected 'The Birth of a Nation,' " explains Adamson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1999 | CECILIA RASMUSSEN
Today the intersection of Hollywood, Sunset and Hillcrest is one of the city's busiest, but few motorists navigating the Silver Lake junction are aware that they are traversing one of the crossroads of cinematic history. For it was on the site now occupied by the restored and historic Vista Theater that D.W. Griffith, the "Father of Film," rebuilt ancient Babylon as the immense and spectacular set for his 1916 film "Intolerance."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2009 | Kenneth Turan
No, it's not a personal appearance by the legendary director, long since gone to his reward, but an unusual chance to see six of the great man's one-reel pre-World War I shorts, all shot in Southern California: "Man's Genesis," "The New Dress," "The Massacre," "The Unchanging Sea," "The Sands of Dee" and "The Female of the Species." Not only will they be projected on the big screen, they will feature live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick and a talk by the University of Chicago's Tom Gunning, the top academic expert on Griffith's work.
OPINION
February 6, 2000
Re "Debating an Icon's Genius, Racism," Feb. 1: Critics of the Directors Guild of America's excellent decision to remove D.W. Griffith's name from their most prestigious award show little understanding of the central role Griffith's classic, "Birth of a Nation" (1915), played in exacerbating race hatred in this nation. Griffith would not allow any black male actor to touch a white actress, so most of the "blacks" in the film are played by white men in blackface. He quoted then-President Woodrow Wilson's own words in the inter-titles to support the film's contention that blacks should never have been given political power after the Civil War. Wilson, who was a friend of the novelist Thomas Dixon, on whose novel, "The Clansman," the film is based, officially segregated the federal bureaucracy for the first time.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 9, 1987 | CLARKE TAYLOR
"This is awesome, when you think of all those who have come before me," 77-year-old director Elia Kazan said, after being presented with the Directors Guild of America's coveted D.W. Griffith Award for career achievement Saturday night. Kazan, the 19th Griffith Award winner since 1953, accepted the award at a ceremony held here for East Coast members of the DGA. Most of the 1986 DGA winners were in Los Angeles, attending a simultaneous dinner at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 1999 | TED ELLIOTT
Those who oppose the Directors Guild of America's decision to retire the D.W. Griffith Award for Lifetime Achievement ("DGA Blundered by Removing Griffith's Name From Award," Saturday Letters, Dec. 18) are all missing one very important point.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2004 | Greg Braxton
On Aug. 9, a rare public showing of D.W. Griffith's 1915 Civil War epic, "The Birth of a Nation," was abruptly canceled. The owner of the Silent Movie Theatre had received threats of arson and worse in anonymous phone messages, and activists and community groups, including the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, had called for protests.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 2001 | MALCOLM JOHNSON, HARTFORD COURANT
Ancient Egypt holds out three magnets for movie makers: its connections to the Bible through Moses and Joseph, the eternal allure of Cleopatra and, above all, the mystery of mummies. It is the last of the trinity that brings forth one of the summer's big sequels, "The Mummy Returns." The grandeurs of early civilizations gripped the minds of filmmakers since the days of the early Italian cinema and the first epic by D.W. Griffith, the 1913 "Judith of Bethulia."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 2000 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Before there were Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish there was Florence Lawrence, the very first movie star. As the film industry emerged in the first decade of the 20th century, producers did not list the names of their actors for fear of giving them a bargaining chip in salary negotiations should they become popular with the public.
OPINION
February 6, 2000
Re "Debating an Icon's Genius, Racism," Feb. 1: Critics of the Directors Guild of America's excellent decision to remove D.W. Griffith's name from their most prestigious award show little understanding of the central role Griffith's classic, "Birth of a Nation" (1915), played in exacerbating race hatred in this nation. Griffith would not allow any black male actor to touch a white actress, so most of the "blacks" in the film are played by white men in blackface. He quoted then-President Woodrow Wilson's own words in the inter-titles to support the film's contention that blacks should never have been given political power after the Civil War. Wilson, who was a friend of the novelist Thomas Dixon, on whose novel, "The Clansman," the film is based, officially segregated the federal bureaucracy for the first time.
NEWS
February 1, 2000 | ROBERT W. WELKOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It had been weighing on his mind for more than a year, ever since several African American directors expressed concern that the Directors Guild of America's prestigious life achievement award was named for D.W. Griffith, whose 1915 film "The Birth of a Nation" glorified the Ku Klux Klan and seared racial stereotypes into the collective conscience of moviegoers everywhere. Jack Shea, the president of the guild, came away from that encounter unsettled.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2000
In defending the DGA's bone-headed decision to "retire" the D.W. Griffith Award, Ted Elliott's own words betray him ("The DGA Is Right, D.W. Griffith Was Wrong," Dec. 27). He writes, "It is given to honor a director whose lifetime achievements are deemed worthy of extraordinary recognition." Exactly. The award is being retired because of one film. It does not take into account Griffith's true masterpiece, "Intolerance," which he made primarily as an apology for "The Birth of a Nation."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 30, 1992 | MICHAEL WILMINGTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
W. Griffith and John Ford may be the two American directors who've most determined how we view our country: its land and landmarks, places and people, the whole sweep and scope of its complex history. For all their alleged vices of sentimentality, chauvinism, oversimplification and melodrama, they are two nonpareil film artists as well.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2000
In defending the DGA's bone-headed decision to "retire" the D.W. Griffith Award, Ted Elliott's own words betray him ("The DGA Is Right, D.W. Griffith Was Wrong," Dec. 27). He writes, "It is given to honor a director whose lifetime achievements are deemed worthy of extraordinary recognition." Exactly. The award is being retired because of one film. It does not take into account Griffith's true masterpiece, "Intolerance," which he made primarily as an apology for "The Birth of a Nation."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 1999 | TED ELLIOTT
Those who oppose the Directors Guild of America's decision to retire the D.W. Griffith Award for Lifetime Achievement ("DGA Blundered by Removing Griffith's Name From Award," Saturday Letters, Dec. 18) are all missing one very important point.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1999 | CECILIA RASMUSSEN
Today the intersection of Hollywood, Sunset and Hillcrest is one of the city's busiest, but few motorists navigating the Silver Lake junction are aware that they are traversing one of the crossroads of cinematic history. For it was on the site now occupied by the restored and historic Vista Theater that D.W. Griffith, the "Father of Film," rebuilt ancient Babylon as the immense and spectacular set for his 1916 film "Intolerance."
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