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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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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch