An actor, a vaudevillian, and a dramatist earlier than he turned a filmmaker, D. W. Griffith used the assets of theatre to nice goal and to nice ends. In pioneering the quintessentially glossy medium of movie from the Nineties to the Nineteen Thirties, he drew from older, extra widely beautiful degree sorts of melodrama, comedy, vaudeville, and diversity. In Stagestruck Filmmaker
, David Mayer brings Griffith’s procedure vividly to existence, supplying precise and useful insights into the racial, ethnic, category, and gender problems with those transitional decades.
Combining the uncooked fabrics of theatre, circus, minstrelsy, and dance with the more moderen visible codes of films, Griffith grew to become the 1st stated artist of yankee movie. Birth of a Nation particularly demonstrates the measure to which he used to be encouraged via the racist justifications and distorting interpretations of the Civil conflict and the Reconstruction period. relocating throughout the significant levels of Griffith’s profession in chapters equipped round key movies or teams of movies, Mayer offers a enthralling account of the yank degree and cinema within the ultimate years of the 19th century and the 1st 3 a long time of the 20th century.
Griffith’s courting to the theatre was once complicated, complicated, and enduring. lengthy well-known because the dominant artistic determine of yankee films, all through twenty-six years of creating greater than movies he pillaged, tailored, reshaped, revitalized, preserved, and extolled. via historicizing his representations of race, ethnicity, and otherness, Mayer locations Griffith inside of an total template of yank existence within the years while movie rivaled after which handed the theatre in popularity.