In our minds, we picture Intolerance differently than most films. Say the title, and we usually don’t see the faces of the Dear One or Brown Eyes or run shots from the four storylines through our minds. We picture the photo of the massive hall of Babylon. We see the sharp-edged archways, the curves and ridges of the immense pillars, the white elephants with their peculiarly defined muscles and curving trunks. We also see the masses of tiny people on the floor of the hall, clustering around the feet of the elephants, and lining the top of the archways. There is an awed sensation when you think of this dense image. Perhaps there is also a sense of remoteness.
But recall the actual scene itself, how the camera slowly, smoothly moves forward, closer and closer until we can clearly see the people, see the details of their clothes, and can see their faces in their matte makeup.
D.W. Griffith’s massive, dramatic, beautiful 1916 epic Intolerance, to this day one of the most ambitious film projects ever devised, is a century old today. On September 5, 1916 its world premiere was held at the Liberty Theater in New York. This is arguably one of the biggest milestones in cinematic history. It’s partyin’ time.
In 1958 Buster Keaton (who parodied the film in The Three Ages) reminisced: “Griffith’s Intolerance was] terrific…It’s a beautiful production. That was somethin’ to watch then. You weren’t used to seein’ big spectaculars like that.”
I’ll be devoting some posts to this cinematic masterpiece later this month, so until then, have a celebratory banner.
‘Tis an historic day!!
Well! Another year has whizzed by with the speed of a well-thrown cream pie, and Silent-ology is now two years old!
Nazimova cutting Silent-ology’s birthday cake. Being Nazimova, she added 26 extra candles for dramatic effect.
Well my friends, I can hardly believe it but today Silent-ology is celebrating its very first anniversary!!
I want to extend a big, hearty, sincere THANK YOU to all my readers! Wherever you are and whether you’ve stopped by several times or only once, you have no idea how much it’s appreciated. I’m not kidding or exaggerating one iota about that. Continue reading
As posted on the official Buster Keaton page on Facebook today:
This day, April 16th, is not only the birthday of Charles Spencer Chaplin but his 125th birthday–a nice milestone in a year just chock full of Chaplin milestones. It’s a good day for laughter and perhaps a good day for some reflection too.