DW Griffith is often regarded as one cinema’s founding fathers. He is also one of its most malignant racists. This duality is encapsulated by the director’s most famous feature The Birth of a Nation (1915).
A three hour drama set in Civil War and Reconstruction-era America, it shares in the deep-rooted bigotry of its source material: Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman. However, at the level of technique its influence has been pronounced; its pioneering camerawork offered new ways of approaching the medium.
What's on at BFI Southbank
From June 5 to 28, head to the upcoming BFI film series where they'll be airing a selection of the director's work, from Griffith's early silent films such as Intolerance (1916) to Abraham Lincoln (1930), his first foray into spoken dialogue.
With an eye to his deeply problematic critical heritage, the programme also offers discussion and possible frameworks through which to approach DW Griffith’s films. Kevin Brownlow and David Gill’s DW Griffith: Father of Film airs on June 7, while The Birth of a Nation at 100: A Roundtable Discussion takes place on June 25th, gathering a bevy of academics from world-renowned institutions.
BFI: Home of classic film screenings in London
If you're wondering where to watch classic films in London, look no further than the BFI: Full listings for all BFI upcoming seasons can be found here via their website.
|What||DW Griffith: Cinema’s Great Pioneer, BFI|
|Where||BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, Southbank, London, SE1 8XT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
05 Jun 15 – 28 Jun 15, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to book via the BFI.|