Monday, 13 August 2012

D W Griffith's Intolerance 1916

Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through the Ages is a 1916 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and is considered one of the great masterpieces of the Silent Era. The three-and-a-half hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines each separated by several centuries: A contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption; a Judean story: Christ’s mission and death; a French story: the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572; and a Babylonian story: the fall of the Babylonian Empire to Persia in 539 BC.

Intolerance was made partly in response to critics who protested against Griffith's previous film, The Birth of a Nation (1915), charging that it had overt racist content, characterizing racism as people's intolerance of other people's views. Read more on Wikipedia

Lowry refers to the film several times; in his film script for Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night; "Abe gives his own background in movies: "I saw Buster Keaton in Seven Chances - I saw Intolerance." (The Cinema of Malcolm Lowry: a scholarly edition of Lowry's "Tender is the Night" Pg.73 ); later in October Ferry to Gabriola; "No, but what's really funny, it was a D.W. Griffith film, Intolerance — or maybe Way Down East." Or perhaps (and ah, the eerie significance of cinemas in our life, Ethan thought, as if they related to the afterlife, as if we knew." (Pg.29) and in a letter to Downie Kirk dated 13 December 1950; "We went to see the old silent film Intolerance - played straight through without any music at all - a great mistake, since Griffith wrote his own score." (Collected Letters Vol 2 Pg.307 )

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