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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

The Inception of Movie Editing: The Art of D. W. Griffith

A video essay by Michael Joshua Rowin and Kevin B. Lee. Worth it for a glimpse of a tinted Intolerance backed by Hans Zimmer’s Inception score as well as its punchline.  Text. [Via Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz).]

One Response to “The Inception of Movie Editing: The Art of D. W. Griffith”

  1. Messrs. Rowin and Lee did an outstanding job of presenting the complex editing skills and styles of D.W. Griffith, which are one of the primary reasons for his place of prominence in the history of American film. He was the first American director who astutely took all of the basic techniques of film grammar and synthesized them into an art form of storytelling on celluloid. As discussed in this video, Griffith’s invention of parallel editing was a true cinematic breakthrough. It not only enabled films to create scenes of agonizing suspense, as events occuring in multiple settings but happening simultaneously could now be depicted, but it also enabled storylines to use editing to show contrasts (as in “A Corner in Wheat” (1909). I’m very pleased that Messrs. Rowin and Lee have made such a great effort to give credit to Griffith for this important and ongoing contribution to film technique.

Movie City Indie

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles