D. W. Griffith Leaves Biograph
Musical accompaniment by Ben Model
Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 1:30 p.m.
Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
Includes the following films:
Judith of Bethulia
1914. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish. Silent. Approx. 55 min.
The Avenging Conscience
1914. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Spottiswoode Aitken, George Siegmann. Silent. Approx. 65 min.
Chafing under the constraints of having to make shorter films while European filmmakers were making increasingly ambitious multi-reel epics, Griffith decided leave Biograph. His parting shot, at more than twice the length of any of his previous films, was Judith of Bethulia, which was intended to compete with the Italian “sword and sandal” spectacles that were flowing into the American market. Yet the performances of stars Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall lend a human element to his sprawling canvas. These same two actors also enrich The Avenging Conscience, the director’s homage to Edgar Allan Poe.
Read curator Charles Silver's extended screening notes at INSIDE/OUT, a MOMA/P.S.1 blog.
In the Film exhibition An Auteurist History of Film
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