Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (D. W. Griffith - 1916)
Intolerance was made partly in response to criticism of Griffith’s previous film, The Birth of a Nation (1915), which was attacked by the NAACP and other groups as perpetuating racial stereotypes and glorifying the Ku Klux Klan.
D.W. Griffith invested more than $2 million on the film, an unprecedented amount of money at the time. “Intolerance” never even came close to earning back its budget - audiences in 1916 were completely unused to seeing films which ran in excess of 3 hours. Even when it was re-cut and released as 2 separate features, “The Fall of Babylon” and “The Mother and the Law”, it still failed to make money.
100 years ago American film distributor Epoch Producing Co. released “The Birth of a Nation” (dir. D. W. Griffith). The film is dedicated to Civil War and the following period and shows Ku-Klux-Klan as a heroic force. “The Birth of a Nation” inspired the revival of KKK in 1915 and provoked several incidents of killings of black people in different states of America. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People vainly tried to ban the movie.Instead of this D. W. Griffith became rich and famous because of his film-making innovations and Epoch gained from $50 to $100 millions. It clearly shows that “a nation” had racist sentiment. I still can feel the heritage of this ignorant and intolerant attitude in America. 100 years after Klansmen still exist and there are racists all around the country. Police brutality is a modern-day lynching. I hope that 2015 was finally the year of the birth of another nation - nation of people who respect freedom, tolerance and justice. I see a lot of activism on the streets and on the web, so I hope it’s true. Keep on keeping on, my friends!
On June 7, 1909, silver screen star Mary Pickford made her one-reeler debut in “The Violin Maker of Cremona” at the age of 16.
Pickford had been picked up by Biograph Company thanks to director D. W. Griffith and quickly showed a strong talent for film acting. Appearing in 51 movies in 1909 alone, Pickford played a wide range of characters in both leading and supporting roles. Although Biograph did not list credits in their films, Pickford immediately became recognizable and was advertised under nicknames such as “The Girl with the Golden Curls,” “Blondilocks,” and “The Biograph Girl."
In 1919 Pickford, alongside D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, started an independent film production company called United Artists. Although her acting career declined, she continued to produce into the early 1930s and remained a partner of United Artists until she sold her shares in 1956. As a co-founder, producer, and actress in her own films, Pickford became one of the most powerful women to ever work in Hollywood.