Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Birth of a Nation

Never mind LIVE AND LET DIE, if you really want to piss of a room full of black people, which is never a great idea I might add, show them the second half of THE BIRTH OF A NATION. Don't bother with the first part as it will pretty much put you asleep unless you happen to be a film student. Granted, the film is over a hundred years old it can be slightly forgiven for having what are now considered some rather skewered and offensive notions on how the good ol' U.S. of A. was formed. The fact the Klu Klux Klan actually used this as a recruitment tools pretty much sums it up. While this D.W. Griffith opus, which clocks in at just over three hours (two is more common on video) is credited for showcasing many groundbreaking film techniques, most notably the split-screen process, modern scholars are eager to point out where Griffith was lifting such styling from. As with any blurb I write about the blockbusters or classics there isn't a hell of a lot I can add other than perhaps it would have been neat to see what would have happened if James Bond had walked into that club in Harlem and slapped this sucked on the big screen! Also, THE BIRTH OF A NATION is certainly worth a look to see the late, great Lillian Gish at work but truth be told this one will bore the living shit out of most people.


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