The Birth of a Nation

1.
After watching all the films in Week Two’s content (with the exception of The Birth of a Nation) discuss at least 5 storytelling/narrative/plot) devices or editing choices that you have seen in recent films or TV shows. How did these devices or choices help drive the story? Then link those narrative techniques to the films you watched.
For example: In Walk, – You, Walk! (1912) Rose gets the help of friends to teach someone who mistreated her a lesson. This is common plot device in today’s situation comedies.
Respond to at least two of your fellow classmates

2.
The Birth of a Nation (1913) is still seen as a monumental film due to its innovation of filming techniques that are still used today. For example, one of D. W. Griffith’s key contributions was his pioneering use of “cross-cutting” to follow parallel lines of action. An early audience might have been confused by a film that showed first one group of characters, then another, then the first again, But Griffith successfully uses such a technique in a chase scene that is rarely not use in an action movie today. Besides “cross-cutting,” There are at less 16 other ways in which Griffith was an innovator, ranging from his night photography to his use of the iris shot and color tinting. Due to Giffith’s efforts, this is a film of great visual beauty and narractive power.
However, the movie is racist and unapologetic about its attitudes, which are those of a white Southerner, raised in the 19th century, unable to see African-Americans as fellow beings of worth and rights.
With that in mind, answer the following questions.
Is it possible to separate the content from the filmcraft? If art should serve beauty and truth, can great art be in the thrall of hateful ideologies? Can we still find beauty in such an ugly past? Is it reasonability “okay” to enjoy viewing such art with such a message?
Are there more recent films, TV shows, music, pieces of art that press against the same types of issues? If so, how do we/should we respond to them?
Respond to at least two of your classmates.

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